Saturday, March 26, 2011

Got A "Bargaining Update" From My Local Union In The Mail Today

It only covered two topics--the decrease in health care costs since our district changed providers last year, and negotiations in the shadow of devastating budget decreases. You know what word wasn't mentioned once in the entire update? Republicans.

Democrats run both houses of the legislature, a budget requires only a simple majority in each house, and a Democrat sits in the governor's office. Democrats, this one's all on you.

10 comments:

Mavor said...

Amazing! A minority of Republicans are blocking a vote on increasing revenue that will help school budgets and you say it is all on Democrats? Can you explain that?

Darren said...

The Democrats don't need the Republicans to pass a tax increase. They need them to put an initiative on the ballot so the people can vote to raise their own taxes. In other words, the Dems don't want to this without some political cover, which the Republicans don't owe them.

So yes, it's *all* on the Democrats. They own this.

Mavor said...

You are incorrect:

A Brief History of 2/3

Where Did Minority Rule Come From?: A Brief History of the 2/3 Rules
By Richard Massell

We are regularly asked how did minority rule in the legislature happen? What is the history of the infamous 2/3 rules?


FACT #1: California started out with a constitution that had majority rule! Yes, it's true. California started out with majority rule in the legislature. And it stayed that way until 1933. In June of 1933, during the Depression, a complicated measure appeared on the ballot that changed the budget passage requirement from majority to 2/3. The simple majority to increase revenues was not changed at that time.

FACT #2: You can change the Constitution of California with an initiative that passes with a majority vote. And you can change it to require something else to pass only with a 2/3 vote! Whoa! Most places pass budgets with majority votes and change their constitution with 2/3 or 3/4 votes. Well, California is different.

FACT #3: The requirement of a majority to increase revenues stayed in place in 1933. It wasn't changed to 2/3 until 1978. What happened in 1978? Prop 13 - the "third rail of California politics."

FACT #4: Prop 13 was advertised as keeping property taxes low for elderly people who had bought their homes at a low price many years ago and could not keep up with tax payments as their homes became more valuable and assessments went up.

The main effect of prop 13 — the 2/3 rule that ended democracy in the legislature — was hidden and barely noticed or discussed. The 2/3 requirement for revenue increases was the fifth sentence in the Attorney General's summary of Proposition 13. In fact, the ballot pamphlet in June 1978 had NO mention of the change to two-thirds in either the pro or con arguments about Prop 13! Most people don’t even remember it as being embedded in Prop 13.

Imagine if the Attorney General’s description of Prop. 13 back in 1978 had said: THIS INITIATIVE WILL END DEMOCRACY IN THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE, TAKE AWAY THE VOICE OF THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS IN THE STATE, AND INTRODUCE CONTROL BY A MINORITY OF 34 PER CENT.

Darren said...

Fact: a budget can be passed with a simple majority now. Democrats have much more than a simple majority in both houses of the legislature.

Democrats created this problem, Democrats own it. And no Prop 13 rant changes that.

Mavor said...

Apparently you don't believe in majority rule. The only budget that can be passed is one that the minority approves of. According to polls a majority of voters support extending taxes as they are in order to minimize cuts to education, but Republicans want to thwart the wishes of the majority. These same Republicans, using a policy of envy that you acknowledge, are going after your pension and, indeed, the resources you need to do your job. I certainly hope you will eventually, start standing up for your profession and for your students, rather than pointing fingers at Democrats to make some weak ideological point. Talk to some reasonable members of your party. Roger Niello, whom I have spoken with, was reasonable on this issue and was smeared by his fellow party members. Listen, Brown started with a reasonable proposal, splitting cuts and revenue increases right down the middle and Republicans won't even negotiate.

Darren said...

Perhaps you're not aware that the law has changed. Budgets can now be passed with only a simple majority. The Democrats do not need a single Republican vote, in either house of the legislature, to pass a budget.

You've got your majority. Enjoy it.

muckdog said...

I believe what Mavor is trying to say is that she believes taxes are way too low in California. In addition, Mavor believes that the only way to create fairness in this low-tax state would be to increase property taxes, increase income taxes, increase DMV registration fees, increase alcohol taxes, increase cigarette taxes, increase sales taxes, increase internet sales taxes, and increase corporate taxes.

Because, after all, Mavor believes the government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

Darren said...

Just stumbled across this post from last December:
http://rightontheleftcoast.blogspot.com/2010/12/enough-to-make-you-gag.html

Let's see what I wrote about the CTA and the December 2010 issue of their California Educator magazine:

***
On page 26 we get to one of the big "we won" articles about the election. Jerry Brown is identified as someone who can "bring collaboration back to Sacramento", but just a few paragraphs later we read this:

The passage of CTA-supported Proposition 25, which does away with the two-thirds vote required to pass a budget, will make it possible for the state budget to be passed on time, saving hundreds of millions of dollars and allowing schools to plan their budgets in advance.


Allow me to translate: "Democrats won't even have to consult with the minority-party Republicans in order to pass a state budget. And we're happy about that."
***
Yep, the Democrats *own* these problems--and the solutions.

MikeAT said...

Mavor,

In case you need the point it's your time to answer Darren....or will you just knock over your king now as you have lost?

neko said...

The only budget that can be passed is one that the minority approves of.

So if the majority votes No on the budget but the minority votes Yes, then the budget passes?