Constitutional Convention Considered

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 13, 2008

The San Francisco Based Bay Area Council says state government is dysfunctional…  John Grubb is with the organization that advocates for business in the region. He says re-writing the state constitution with some key reforms is the way to fix things.   

 “The way our prison systems are overflowing, our water system is teetering on the brink of collapse, our schools that used to be the pride of the country are now criminally poor, and of course our financing system seems to be bankrupt nearly every year…”
The Council is pushing for a constitutional convention.  That could be put on the ballot  with a two-thirds vote of the legislature or through the initiative process. Grubb says his group would go to the ballot with the idea.  Among the reforms they want is to remove the two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget and adopt a two-year budget cycle.  Tim Hodson with the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State says before moving forward, supporters should ask themselves a question. “What makes them think that a constitutional convention would be any less afflicted by the various factions and interests that afflict the legislature?” 

Hodson cautions such conventions are hard to control—and the results from them are often mixed.  Others have been expressing interest in the idea though—including the current head of the state Senate, Don Perata.