California Budget Challenge

Budget Basics

Reform Update

Considering the decade-long deficits, it is no surprise many organizations and individuals are urging governance reform. In fact, a number of reforms have actually been enacted over the last few years, with potentially more to come before the voters.

Proposition 2 - This initiative was passed by the voters in 2014 and requires that a certain amount of state's revenues must be placed in a Rainy Day Fund.

Proposition 25 – This initiative, which was passed by the voters in 2010 reduces the vote requirement to enact the state budget from2/3rds to a simple majority.

Top 2 Primary – This change, which was established byProposition 14 (also passed by the voters in 2010), allows all voters to choose any candidate in the primary election regardless of the candidate's or voter's political party preference. The measure also provides that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference. 

Redistricting – This measure, enacted by the voters in2008, took the power to establish the boundaries for Assembly, Senate, andBoard of Equalization seats away from the Legislature and put it in the hands of a 14-member commission.

Term Limits – This initiative, which was approved by the voters on the June 2012 ballot, modified legislative term limits by permitting a person to serve no more than a total of 12 years (rather than 14), but permits that time in office to be served entirely in either the Senate or the Assembly instead of shorter time periods in each house. 

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