Voters pass Prop. 25, allowing legislative majority vote to pass California budget
For years, Democrats have held wide majorities in both houses of the Legislature. But they claim they have been held hostage by a recalcitrant Republican minority that often refuses to offer up votes for a state budget. Today, voters decided to change the way the state budget process works, removing the two-thirds vote requirement to pass a state spending plan.
No measure on the state ballot will alter the way Sacramento operates more than Prop. 25. Whether it leads to better and more timely budgets, however, remains to be seen. Democrats say the passage of Prop. 25 will lead to on-time budgets. Opponents say it will allow Democrats to raise fees on a host of products and services -- including alcohol to tobacco -- and remove an important check on Democrats' power in the Legislature.
Prop. 25 also contains punitive measures that became the focus of the Yes campaign. The measure docks lawmakers' pay for every day the budget is overdue. This year, the state set a new record, passing a budget 100 days into the new fiscal year.
-- Anthony York