OK given for petitions to be circulated to change legislative vote requirements

Proposal would reduce 2/3rd voting requirement to simple majority

Secretary of State Debra Bowen Monday announced that George Lakoff, the proponent of a new initiative that would change the legislative vote requirement necessary to pass the state budget, can start collecting petition signatures for his measure.

Bowen prepared the legal title and summary that are required to appear on initiative petitions. With that now done, Lakoff and supporters can begin their work.

Lakoff, an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the UC Berkeley, must collect signatures of 694,354 registered voters, the number equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election. in order to qualify it for the ballot. He has 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by October 12.

The measure Lakoff is circulating is titled: "Changes legislative vote requirement to paass a budget, approve spending bills or raise taxes from two-thirds to a simple majority.

The Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance said there would be no known fiscal impact on state and local governments by lowering the legislative vote requirement.

Currently, a two-thirds super-majority is needed in the state legislature to pass any budget or revenue increases.

But Lakoff has said this means that a one-third plus one vote, or 34 percent, of the state legislature can control all legislative decisions. California is the only state with such a rule in place.

Lakoff is hoping that his initiative will gain widespreada support now that the state's $20-billion budget deficit is seeing the effects of a two-thirds' stalemate in the legislature. With public programs and schools being shut down or underfunded, he believes the public is finally taking notice of minority rule in Sacramento.

"This is an issue about democracy and most people don't know it," said Lakoff, who is also a Democratic Party consultant in a recent article in AfterNet. "That is the reason we have a budget crisis, which in the end is really a crisis of democracy."

Lakoff, the initiative proponent, can be reached at (510) 848-7465, according to the Secretary of State's office.

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Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I think you mean AlterNet.

Like this comment
Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

Simple majority is all we need. If we don't like what the rascals did, then we vote them out and undo what we did not like.

AND, this goes along with eliminating the gerrymandering.

Like this comment
Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am

Here is Lakoff's article (Web Link)
Note the reference to a recent poll:
"A lot of this may have to do with the fact that polls seem to show Californians aren't interested in fully removing minority rule, as Lakoff's measure proposes to do. A November poll asked, "Do you think that you should need a fifty-percent majority to approve tax increases in the state legislature, or a two-thirds, sixty-six percent supermajority?" "Only 28 percent opted for the simple majority, while 66 percent chose the two-thirds rule."

Like this comment
Posted by Do RIGHT, not fast
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm

They LIE. This is NOT the reason we have a budget crisis. ! ! ! MORE Old PUBLIC PENSION retirements are starting to come due; Sacto's lousy legislators are weak 'owned' puppets that pour on more & more, and never remove failed, worthless programs; Programs and people expand; The growth is exponential. Only fools and thieves would try to make you believe it's the 2/3 requirement that caused the collapse in Sacto !!
There is no big advantage to a FAST budget..We need a GOOD budget !.we desperately NEED a carefully selective budget...with debate and CHOICES. Requiring the current 2/3 approval of legis. is the ONLY protection Californians have had all these decades. Remove it and 'katie barr the door' we'll be sold out for more expensive bribes to SPECIAL INTERESTS, PUBLIC UNIONS, & LOBBYISTS. Keep the 2/3 vote requirement. Don't show your face trying to get signatures on this attempt to legalize theft of our earnings.

TAXPAYERS BEWARE ! BE CAUTIOUS ! Approving new programs & raising taxes with just a majority is financial suicide.

Like this comment
Posted by Kelly
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Once again, lipstick on a pig is still a pig. More tax and spend from the liberal legislature and union fat cats: Don't believe this cover up lie of thier so called "Balance the Budget" and remove our Prop 13 protections! This is just the sneaky way to steal the required 2/3rds vote from hard working, Californians.

Who is behind an amendment to the California Constitution to remove Proposition 13, the required 2/3rds vote protection to raise home owner/property taxes and remove our protections? California City Governments including Pleasantons Mayor, Jennifer Hostermann, and Education Union fat cats in the name of Marxism "Never letting a good crisis go to waste." they will create more crisis by spending and regulating California to death and then tell you they have the solution!!

California needs an overhaul but it's not by amendment to our California Constitution of removing the 2/3rds vote. Please go to Web Link and donate to Howard Jarvis Tax Payers Association they are always fighting for us against greedy tax and spend legislation and union fat cats. HJTA has been dedicated for decades to protecting Proposition 13 and promoting tax payers rights!

Another thing we should be asking our city government, liberal legislators and greedy unions, why would they be for removing the 2/3rds requirement? Why would they do this to current and future property owners in this state? WE CAN BARELY AFFORD MORTGAGES in California as it is... Why would you want to kill our prosperity or dreams from future and current California homeowners by stealing Prop 13 2/3rds vote protection from us, from our families, our children? Wake up California! Removing this protection with an amendment to the constitution of the required 2/3rds vote only serves to the Union fat cats and local government coiffures, read between the lines!

For our next generation of immigrants and young families working hard for the dream of owning homes and property in California, this message is for you: By signing this petition you are allowing legislature and Government to steal the dream of owning a home or property from you by allowing an amendment will only result in raising taxes on property that will put you out of house and home! This is a protection for we the people of California, don't sign away your dreams or your children's future dreams so that the unions and newly hired Superintendants can make salaries ove r$200.000.00 a year!

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