Tri-Valley Dems kick off campaign to end 2/3rds threshhold

With the California Senate still deadlocked over a budget, the Tri-Valley Democratic Club passed a resolution this week to support a petition campaign that would end the state’s requirement for two-thirds vote of the Legislature to pass a budget.

Democrats in the Senate need only one more Republican vote to pass a budget deal that calls for a mix of $42 billion in new taxes and spending cuts. Eliminate the two-thirds requirement and Democrats have plenty of votes in both the Senate and the Assembly to pass a budget without a single Republican vote.

Republicans, of course, oppose it. But many Democrats believe the answer to the annual budget stalemate — which has been exacerbated by the recession — is to ask voters to strip that threshhold from the law. There is ample talk that Democrats and their allies in the labor community will seek to put such a ballot measure before voters in the November 2009 election.

Read on for the Tri-Valley Democrats’ resolution:


WHEREAS, the state of California requires a 2/3’s vote of the legislature to pass all budget and revenue related legislation which results in unequal representation with NO votes counting twice as much as YES votes;

WHEREAS, this has resulted in rule by a minority of the legislature that has consistently blocked the will of the majority of the citizens of the state of California, delayed annual enactment of budget and revenue related legislation beyond the June 15th deadline, reduced the credit rating of the state, and forced the state to rely on borrowing which burdens future generations of California citizens;

WHEREAS, the 2/3’s rule has resulted in a fiscal catastrophe for the state of California and has caused undue harm to the health and welfare of its citizens;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the TriValley Democratic Club supports amending the constitution of the state of California to allow a simple majority of the Legislature to pass both budget and revenue related legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the TriValley Democratic Club will distribute copies of this resolution to the California Senate and Assembly, California County Democratic Central Committees, as well as other Democratic clubs, and work to support legislation that will overturn the 2/3’s vote requirement.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen