There are some good features in the Democratic reform proposals borrowed from California Forward and announced yesterday, but the focus on the package will be the effort to lower the two-thirds vote requirement to pass the budget. And in the California legislature, dealing with the two-thirds vote requirement faces the classic paradox of an irresistible force meets an immovable object.
The Democrats insist the road to better governance and accountability flows through a simple majority budget vote. Republicans say no way will they give up leverage in the budget negotiations and abandon their constituents by turning the budget dealings completely over to the majority Democrats.
One important piece in trying to resolve this deadlock is the issue of raising fees with a simple majority vote, as is now the law. Republicans are concerned that with majority vote power to pass the budget Democrats will simply turn to raising majority vote fees to balance the budget.
Could the compromise be trading an increase in the vote requirement for fees to two-thirds in exchange for lowering the vote requirement for the budget to majority? Not in this legislature.
As has happened before in California history, breaking the irresistible force meets an immovable object paradox will probably only come at the hands of the people at the ballot box.