California Proposition 31, State Budget (2012)

Every year, state lawmakers and the Governor approve a budget for the General Fund that has to balance planned spending with expected revenue. When they pass laws during the year, they do not have to say where the money to pay for any new costs will come from.

What Prop 31 would do if it passes:

  • Establish a two-year state budget cycle.
  • Prohibit the California State Legislature from "creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified."
  • Permit the Governor of California to cut the budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if the state legislature fails to act.
  • Require performance reviews of all state programs.
  • Require performance goals in state and local budgets.
  • Require publication of all bills at least three days prior to a vote by the California State Senate or California State Assembly.
  • Give counties the power to alter state statutes or regulations related to spending unless the state legislature or a state agency vetoes those changes within 60 days.

People for Prop 31 say (

  • Prop 31 requires a real balanced budget and stops billions of dollars from being spent without public review.
  • Prop 31 encourages more collaboration and creative problem-solving by local governments.

People against Prop 31 say (

  • Prop 31 may mean well but it gives the Governor too much power and has many complicated provisions that will end up in court.
  • Prop 31 could let local governments undo important environmental regulations and other state rules.


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