A few months ago several netroots activists, including most of the Calitics Editorial Board and several Courage Campaign staffers (myself included) had the opportunity to speak to members of the California Forward board about their reform strategy. In that conversation we made it quite clear that their refusal to countenance a repeal of the 2/3 rule was an obstacle to their effectiveness as a reform organization, and encouraged them to support majority rule.
I don’t know if that conversation alone got them thinking they need to change or whether they decided to accept reality and admit that the 2/3 rule has broken the legislature and the budget, but yesterday CA Forward decided to embrace majority rule:
California Forward, the good government group backed by the state’s most muscular civic foundations, decided Wednesday – at least tentatively – to stand up and play a role in reforming California.
The goo-goos’ leadership council agreed to support scrapping the two-thirds legislative vote now required to approve the budget in favor of a majority vote, according to leakage through the Victorian windows in the Drawing Room of the Sterling Hotel, where the group was meeting in Sacramento to hash out an action item agenda.
Endorsement of a majority budget vote would be part of a package of reforms that includes two-year budgeting, performance management measures, a sunset review of government codes, a rainy-day fund and a “pay-go” requirement that new legislation must identify funds or cuts, Calbuzz also learned. (Until the whole group agrees with the leadership council’s proposals, support for any of this remains provisional.)
That last paragraph is an important qualifier here – CA Forward is still trying to appease the right with stupid and backward policy reforms designed to break government for ideological gain (we already have a rainy-day fund, and the “sunset review” is a waste of money and resources). But it is good to see that the reform organization with the most money is now willing to play in the mainstream of the movement to fix the state.