Sacramento: The Reform Stops Here!

An instructive blog post on the tyranny of the majority in Sacramento. Those who run the legislature weep crocodile tears about the challenges the state faces. But reforms that would actually change things? That triggers “Don’t bring that in here! We like the way things work.”

One such bill, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 (ACA 8) was offered up by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries in order to ensure the members and the public had adequate time to review measures before they are voted on. ACA 8 would require the public to be noticed about 72 hours prior to a bill being voted on. Additionally, it would require that item to be in print and made available for public review not less than 24 hours prior to being voted on. This bill was introduced in January 2009, and six months later, the bill has yet to get a hearing, despite numerous requests by Jeffries. He recently commented, “I find it ironic that a bill meant to end backroom deals is being held hostage in a backroom somewhere.”

Some of the ideas on the table are crucial to improving our quality of life and quality of governance in California. More transparency, as in Jeffries bill above, would be a good start. Also moving to a part time legislature, a 2 year budget cycle, performance-based budgeting, spending and debt limits, a focus on programatic oversight, treating long term liabilities as debt, a focus on improving the job climate in the state. . . .

I could go on, but you get the picture. There are plenty of good ideas, but now one in power wants to listen.

It cracks me up when people say “the government answers to the people.”