Is it time for a big deal to solve California’s budget problems? Yes. But is there time to put a big deal – in this case meaning a restructuring of the California’s budget and tax system — in place for a potential special election in the Spring or Summer? That is much more problematic.
The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that Governor-elect Jerry Brown is considering a plan to offer to the state’s voters that will give them a choice of supporting more revenues or fewer government services so that we will live within our means, as candidate Brown promised. The article states that Republican Senate leader Bob Dutton said that revenue hikes accompanied by complete structural reforms could be the basis for a discussion.
There are many reforms out there offered by numerous commissions over the years – I sat on a number of commissions in the last two decades selected by Republican Governors and Democratic Assembly Speakers. There is much to choose from.
However, the new governor may want to take a fresh approach. It may also not be wise to put reforms before the voters with little time to consider them. When voters are uncertain about ballot measures they tend to vote NO.
The big budget and tax reform restructuring deal may be the way to go but timing, and the time to do it right, is everything.