Policy Study

Roadmap to Reform for California

About This Project

On April 30, 2003, Reason Foundation and the Performance Institute-two think tanks specializing in government reform-jointly released a Citizens’ Budget Plan for balancing California’s $38.2 billion budget deficit. The plan presented a myriad of short-term and long-term reforms to state government.

To solicit ideas on how to translate the ideas in the Citizens’ Budget Plan into action, a bipartisan working group of former state officials was created. As the budget debate dragged on, the officials worked within and across the two major political parties to advance ideas for fundamental reform. While some of the ideas contained in the Citizens’ Budget were debated and accepted, the final budget agreement failed to produce the level of fundamental reform necessary to bring the state’s budget back into permanent balance.

This white paper presents the analysis and recommendations for achieving fundamental reform in light of the recently adopted state budget plan. The bipartisan working group authoring this white paper stands ready to assist state lawmakers in any way appropriate to advance the effort to restore the fiscal soundness of California.

As a division of the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, Reason Public Policy Institute is a public-policy think tank promoting choice, competition, and a dynamic market economy as the foundation for human dignity and progress. Reason produces rigorous, peer-reviewed research and directly engages the policy process, seeking strategies that emphasize cooperation, flexibility, local knowledge, and results. Through practical and innovative approaches to complex problems, Reason changes the way people think about issues and promotes policies that allow and encourage individuals and voluntary institutions to flourish.

The Performance Institute is a private think tank that serves as the nation’s leading authority and repository on performance-based management practices for government organizations. Its mission is to identify, study, and disseminate the leading management innovations pioneered by “best-in-class” government programs. Through its national conferences on pressing issues, interactive executive training programs, and best practice research projects, the Institute provides cutting-edge expertise in the design, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to solve operational challenges and enhance government performance.