While we are all concerned about the 2/3 rule for the budget, and, of course, the 2/3 rule for revenues. But what about that other, other 2/3 rule? The one for the ballot, that requires a 2/3 vote of the people for increases in revenue.
It’s a real pain too. In fact, that rule caused the defeat of two measures that were supported by over 60% of the electorate. These were two parcel taxes that would have allowed the school districts to ave the jobs of teachers. Take Measure E in Redwood City for example:
In the midst of a deep economic recession, voters rejected Tuesday a parcel tax measure that would have helped the Redwood City School District weather cuts in state funding.
With all precincts reporting, Measure E had 62.1 percent of voters in favor of the tax compared to 37.9 percent opposed, short of the two-thirds approval it needed to pass, according to returns from Tuesday’s election. (SJ Merc 6/2/09)
You’re talking about 62.1% of the population wanting to do something, but some out-dated, ridiculous law blocks them from taxing themselves. The same thing happened in Pleasanton, where over 61% approved the parcel tax. At some point, the voters of California need to at least give themselves enough credit to decide something with a simple majority.
How are we to govern under these rules? It simply isn’t possible for the people of California to constantly be fighting battles at these ridiculous thresholds. Would any sort of business operate like this? These are local taxes for crying out loud, yet the state constitution is once again blocking the will of the people. Not for some greater purpose, not for civil rights (looking at you, Prop 8), but simply because some organization thought they could screw up the state a little further.
Not only is the initiative system broken beyond repair, the entire constitution has got to go. It’s time to Repair California.