How to Fix California’s Democracy Crisis
Published: October 10, 2011
ONE hundred years ago today, California voters added the ballot initiative to the State Constitution, allowing citizens to use petitions to bring proposed statutes and constitutional amendments for a public vote.
But as California, the nation’s most populous state, marks this anniversary, the accumulated impact of direct democracy has made it virtually ungovernable. A two-thirds vote was required in each chamber of the Legislature to approve new taxes as a result of Proposition 13, the fabled tax initiative adopted in 1978. Ballot-box budgeting locks in large portions of the budget; Proposition 98, passed in 1988, dedicates about 40 percent of the state’s general fund to public education.
Read the full story here: The New York Times
- Calif. marks 100 years since political reforms (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- New Calif. Ballot Law Seen as Boon to Liberal Initiatives (nytimes.com)