Budget Process In California Tough By Design

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

For one thing, California’s 145 billion dollar budget dwarfs all others in the country by its sheer size.  But there’s a bigger reason the process can be so laborious:  California is one of only three states that requires two-thirds of each house of the legislature to approve the spending plan.  Rich Ehisen is Editor of StateNet Capitol Journal – a non-partisan publication that covers public policy in all 50 states.  He says it’s a big hurdle for California:

“I mean, when you’re taking about a state with a population the size of ours and the size of our budget, a two-thirds requirement here is a pretty dramatic thing to ask in comparison maybe to what other states are looking at.”

Ehisen says California’s not alone when it comes to the issues lawmakers are fighting over:  he says deficits are a problem in many states.   
He says the other two states requiring a 2/3 vote are Arkansas and Rhode Island.