Today is the one year anniversary of Arnold’s quest to shake up Sacramento. How fitting that just as he celebrates a year in the lion’s den his tour de force on reforming state government is the talk of the town. The California Performance Review Report, available here, consolidates 79 departments and 11 agencies into 11 new super departments and a new Office of Management and Budget. 118 boards and commissions are slated for elimination as well. The report has earned a great deal of support thus far, ranging from the Sacramento Bee to the Orange County Register. Much has been made of the “secrecy” surrounding the development of the plan. This seems the equivalent of me being angry that Senator Burton does not allow me to review his legislation before he introduces it. Where is the sunshine? As we know, the legislative process offers the sunshine. The work he conducts before he introduces the bills is deliberative in nature. Much the same way, the CPR report will now be examined at a series of public hearings around the state to encourage public input but was constructed in a deliberative fashion drawing on a wide range of experts. The deliberative nature of our work helped create a report so bold. And the legislature could very well hold their own hearings to discuss the report. But then again, how do you hold public hearings on a report that you declare DOA before you even read it?
George Passantino is a senior fellow at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.