California has a state budget. True it’s a record setter at $122.5 billion, 6% higher than last year’s general fund budget, and the budget didn’t take on major debt liabilities created in great part by public employee health and retirement costs.

Republicans noted all this in voting no on the budget. That’s about all they can do now that the budget is passed with a majority vote. Republican legislators are merely observers and commentators on the budget process.

In unison, they warned that the record budget would leave huge holes when—not if—a recession hits. They also noted the budget did little with the outstanding debt liabilities. They are right on these points. It should be noted they generally praised the governor for adding $2 billion to the rainy day fund and showing some restraint on additional spending.

However, for those longing for the days when the state budget fights were settled only after a two-thirds vote was achieved (sometimes it took until September) there is an opportunity to see two budget related issues resolved by a two-thirds vote.

Two-thirds votes are required to extend the quality assurance fee for hospitals and to use the Proposition 63 mental health tax as a revenue source to back bonds to help mentally ill homeless.

The two-thirds vote is expected to be achieved on the hospital fees. The Prop 63 item will be more controversial.

A few years ago the state auditor criticized lack of oversight on the Prop 63 spending. Issues were raised that some of the money was not spent to aid the mentally ill. We’ll probably hear that in the floor debate.

However, the homeless issue has risen as a concern in the state. Municipalities are dealing with the issue in a number of ways. While the Los Angeles County supervisors hoped, unsuccessfully, for state approval for a local income tax to face the issue, the City of Los Angeles will advance some funding mechanism to deal with homelessness.

Local governments are looking to the state for some action on homelessness. The legislators can provide that action by addressing the homeless problem without raising a new tax or finding more general fund money to back a bond to provide homeless housing. That’s why this proposal is likely to pass without too many fireworks usually supplied by two-thirds vote requirements.

If safeguards are in place so that the money will be used as intended, the two-thirds vote should not prove to be a hurdle in this budget year.