Official Title: STATE BUDGET. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.
Proposition 31 reforms the California state budget process and adds flexibility to local government implementations of state mandates.
For over a decade every year the California State legislature has been late passing budgets. Often the partisan-driven deadlock in Sacramento has resulted in government workers and vendors receiving vouchers instead of paychecks. Partly that is the responsibility of voters who have sent uncompromising fools to represent them.
At least if Proposition 31 passes we will only have to go through the fiasco every two years, instead of each year. This also lines up budgets with elections for the State Assembly, which are held every two years.
The administration of state-funded programs by local governments has also become something of a nightmare and boondoggle. Proposition 31 cannot fix this, but it does have provisions to allow local governments to work together to tweek their procedures. Hopefully for the better.
31 also allows the Governor to reduce spending when there is an unexpected shortage of funds. That could have solved a lot of problems if it had been in place before the recession.
As usual, the text of Prop 31 is long and complicated, so opposers can find details to dislike.
Quoting the Argument in Favor, "Proposition 31 requires a real balanced budget." It actually makes more sense to build surpluses during good economic times and then spend during recessions, but what we have now is overspending all the time, which is leading us to disaster.
The Argument Against says Proposition 31 "will lead to lawsuits and confusion." That is not much of an argument: all law leads to lawsuits and confusion. We still want the best laws we can write. Most of the arguments against 31 seem to be scare tactics, rather than based on the actual likely effects of the law.
Yes on 31, Reform the California Budget system.
Proposition 31 summary, official arguments, and text