Proposition 25: Passing the Budget On Time Act

Proposition 25, or the Passing the Budget On Time Act, qualified for the November ballot on June 24th. This measure would change the vote requirement in the legislature to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. The proposed measure also stipulates that if lawmakers do not pass a budget on time, they will be required to forfeit their pay until a budget is successfully passed. James C. Harrison and Thomas A. Willis filed the initial language. The official ballot title states, “Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget from Two-Thirds to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” The official ballot description is as follows:

“Changes the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. Provides that if the Legislature fails to pass a budget bill by June 15, all members of the Legislature will permanently forfeit any reimbursement for salary and expenses for every day until the day the Legislature passes a budget bill. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown changes in the content of the state budget from lowering the legislative vote requirement for passage. Fiscal impact would depend on the composition and actions of future Legislatures. Minor reduction in state costs related to compensation of legislators in years when the budget bill is passed after June 15. (09-0057.)”

There is not currently a campaign web site in support of this measure, but supporters undoubtedly want to create added pressure on lawmakers to pass a budget on time each year so that budget negotiations do not stall and threaten services. Furthermore, in order to ease the process, creating a simple majority vote stipulated in the ballot measure should prevent some halts to the process, although Republican representative will object to this provision, as they are a minority of the legislature.

You can read the full text of the measure here.

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