California Nabs 2/3 Majority as Voter Universe Changes

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 7:08 am

Just to pick up on what happened in my neck of the woods out here in California. It turned out to be a great night. The tax revolt is dead, or at least not a binding religious totem, the way it was described here for the last 35 years. Prop 30, which temporarily raises income [...]

Prop 13-Style Supermajority for Tax Increases Readied for Michigan Ballot

By: Thursday July 12, 2012 12:16 pm

As long as we’re talking about ballot measures today, an initiative that recently filed in Michigan could do for that state what Prop 13 did for California. Specifically, it would restrict any revenue increases to bills that secure a 2/3 vote in the legislature, a virtually impossible scenario, given anti-tax intransigence on the right. Michigan [...]

California $7 Billion More in the Budget Hole Than Expected

By: Monday May 14, 2012 7:35 am

Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that the budget deficit for the next fiscal year has nearly doubled, from $9.2 billion to $16 billion. This almost assuredly means a commensurate increase in cuts to the state budget. In the last fiscal year, Brown staved off a series of budget cuts by playing a [...]

California Democrats Agree to Majority Vote Budget

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 7:40 am

After months of futile persuasion, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats in the legislature agreed to a majority budget deal that doesn’t increase taxes, which would have required a 2/3 vote. Much of the deal is predicated on the projection of $4 billion in increased revenue from a prior forecast. If the revenue does not [...]

California: Brown Calls Off Budget Talks; Possible Initiative on Taxes in November

By: Thursday March 31, 2011 11:16 am

Among all the states facing crippling budget crises this year, there’s no bigger one than California. And the situation has changed over the past 48 hours. Governor Jerry Brown, who returned to Sacramento saying he would be “an apostle for common sense” able to get lawmakers to work together to meet the challenge, finally admitted [...]

White House Debates Social Security Benefit Cuts

By: Wednesday March 16, 2011 8:05 am

The Wall Street Journal thinks Washington has “gotten serious” about budget deficits. The evidence here is thin; all I see is a Washington serious about accepting Tea Party rhetoric about federal spending. Getting serious about budget deficits would require not cutting taxes by $800 billion as recently as December. But they do touch on the [...]

Talks Break Down in California on Budget, Taxes

By: Monday March 14, 2011 10:18 am

Just an update on the California budget situation, which because of the size of the shortfall ($26.6 billion through next June) has major implications for the national economic recovery. Last week I argued that there was nothing particularly brave about Governor Jerry Brown’s approach, which balances pretty severe spending cuts with the bare minimum extension [...]

Dept. of Errata: Wisconsin 2/3 Requirement Edition

By: Wednesday February 23, 2011 1:40 pm

I’m on the Badger Bus headed in toward Madison, but I wanted to update a story from yesterday. Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that would force a 2/3 requirement for any increases to income, sales or franchise taxes. Living with the horrors of Prop. 13 and artificial super-majority requirements, I immediately threw up a [...]

CDP Convention 2010 – The Brave Face Before An Onslaught

By: Saturday April 17, 2010 9:20 am

I’m here in the press area at the California Democratic Party convention at the LA Convention Center downtown. Speakers today include Nancy Pelosi, as well as the top of the California ticket in November: Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown. The mood of the conventioneers is a little somnambulent, IMO. You have to understand that California [...]

California Can’t Help Itself

By: Tuesday November 24, 2009 6:42 am

Indulge me for a minute while I talk California state politics. I swear there’s a lesson for everyone… John Garamendi, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, won election to Congress earlier this month. Arnold Schwarzenegger has the opportunity to appoint a replacement, who must then be confirmed by the Senate. He named that replacement last night on [...]

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