Retired Sacramento Bee reporter Stephen Green explains how California’s version of 1053 has hurt Golden State

Rethinking and ReframingStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

This morning, the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) Advocate published a special guest post by retired Sacramento Bee reporter Stephen Green, who covered California’s statehouse for many years. In the post, Green explains how California’s version of 1053 has hurt the Golden State, paralyzing its government and leaving California’s Legislature mired in gridlock.

Initiative 1053 does not require two-thirds votes to pass budgets like California, but requiring two-thirds for any legislation – particularly fiscal bills – is still a terrible idea, Green says. If legislators can’t democratically come to an agreement on how to fund our public services, then chaos ensues.

Even without the additional two-thirds requirement for passing budgets, the paralysis he describes will still happen to us if 1053 passes.

That’s because projected revenue continues to fall, leaving horrific cuts as the only option. Look at the most recent budget forecasts.

Furlough days are nothing compared to what’s coming if 1053 passes.

If our deficit grows and an extreme partisan minority prevents the state from raising revenue, public services will be eviscerated, because a few anti-government politicians will be in the driver’s seat, with unconstitutional, illegitimate veto power over the majority. The consequences would be dire.

Jobs would be lost. Hours would be reduced. Lines at state offices would get longer. Customer service would be degraded. Citizen complaints would fall by the wayside, and not be addressed.

1053 allows seventeen right wing senators, out of one hundred and forty seven lawmakers, to tyrannically block any revenue increase. I-1053 effectively puts the wrecking crew in charge of state government.

Is it any wonder that three incumbent Republican senators (Pam Roach, Janea Holmquist, Don Benton) are cosponsors of Tim Eyman and BP’s Initiative 1053?

Times are tough enough… I-1053 would make them worse. NPI and Permanent Defense join with the League of Women Voters, AARP Washington, the Washington Council of Fire Fighters, and hundreds of other organizations in urging voters to say NO to Initiative 1053 this autumn.

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