California’s Budget Is a Scam

Once again, the California Legislature has engaged in the most meaningless exercise imaginable – passing the state budget. In other states, where progressivism is less dominant, the annual budget is an important legislative act. In California, it means squat.

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If the enactment of the annual budget is so pointless, why does the legislature even bother to pass it? The answer is simple. The Constitution requires the passage of a budget bill in order for members of the Legislature to receive their paychecks.

It wasn’t always this way. But in 2010, the legislature put Proposition 25 on the ballot. Entitled the “On-Time Budget Act of 2010,” its real purpose was to repeal the requirement that the budget bill receive a two-thirds vote of both houses. Knowing that voters are rightfully suspicious of lowering any vote threshold, the legislature voters sold the proposal by saying that, if they approved Prop 25, budgets would be passed on time, with greater transparency and that legislators would forfeit their pay if the budget was late. All three of these representations were lies.

The reality is that since Prop. 25 passed, California has no budget process. The “budget bill,” which is supposed to be a comprehensive spending plan for the fiscal year reflecting the policy priorities of the state, has now morphed into an ongoing legislative process that has no beginning and no end. “Budget bills” are now being enacted nearly a year after the June 15th deadline, despite legislators being able to collect their paychecks in the meantime.

After Proposition 25 became law, dozens of bills have been designated as “budget related” even though they have nothing to do with the budget, just to take advantage of Prop. 25’s easier rules for passing bills. Many bills that would otherwise require a two-thirds vote can suddenly become an “amendment” to a budget bill, and then they can be passed with only a simple majority. There’s no requirement for a hearing in the legislative committee that has jurisdiction over that area of policy, and the public has no opportunity to submit public comments or to question their representatives about their votes for the bill.

The process is now so scripted, it makes a Kabuki dance look like improvisational theater.

Longtime political writer Dan Walters labeled the 1,000-page budget “another sham, drafted largely in secret with minimal public exposure and many blanks to be filled in later.” Even the decidedly left-of-center Sacramento Bee succinctly summarized the state of play with this headline: “California Democrats passed a fake budget so they could get paid. Taxpayers have to wait.”

Click here to read the full article in the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


  1. Isn’t CALPERS billions in the red? Why hasn’t this been addressed? But then we have Pretty Boy Newscum and his winery!!

  2. Really??? says

    We have close to a $Billion surplus.

    They cannot reduce taxes?

    Oh that is right it is a Democrat Nightmare……..this budget is so you cannot wake up.

  3. Until 1966, the legislature was part-time. In fact, Ronald Reagan said one of his most regrettable moments was signing the bill to make the legislature full-time employment. In my view, politics should never be a career, more an advocation for the good of the people represented. It is time to reverse course and fire ALL representatives, Assembly, and Senate. Time to clean the slate, even if that means marching on Sacramento.

  4. Kurt Starkweather says

    This state is in terrible way homeless out of control criminals being released causing more crime , gas prices sky rocket food energy, all Democrats say get use to it

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