Hancock: 2/3 requirement must go to save schools

State Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, on Tuesday welcomed to the State Capitol a group of public-school parents who bicycled up from Oakland to protest cuts in state education funding and to deliver a petition demanding more state support for public schools and removal of the 2/3 requirement to pass a budget or to raise taxes.

It’s interesting that Hancock made no mention of her opposition to Proposition 1A, which she has contended will hamstring California’s ability to rebuild the bedraggled education system. Back in February, she was one of only five legislative Democrats to buck their leadership and vote against putting 1A on the ballot, but perhaps with the measures’ polling numbers down in the dumps, she has decided to move on and pour her ardor into rolling back the 2/3 requirement.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Doug

    Wow, all this time it’s been the 2/3’s requirement that has caused our schools to underperform? And here I thought it was inept administration, roller-coaster budgets and unions that sopped up any available cash before it could ‘trickle-down’ to the students. Silly me.

  • Anon

    There’s plenty of blame to go around. The 2/3rds requirement, Prop. 13, overpaid state workers, too powerful a prison guard union, lack of merit in state hirings, Republicans who won’t compromise, deadwood state legislators, voters who pass contradictory Propositions, and so on.

  • Elwood

    The 2/3 requirement is the only thing that stands between us and the democrat dominated legislature running amuck.

    If the 2/3 requirement is eliminated kiss any money or property you might have goodbye.

  • John W

    Amen to “Anon” comments. As for the 2/3 requirement, Democrats Gone Wild could be a problem without it. But, then, they would pay the price at the polls. Here’s the thing, do you believe in representative democracy and accountability or not? The 2/3 requirement is upside down democracy. It isn’t just a check and balance on the majority. In the case of budgets, the will of the minority actually prevails. There are only 2 small states other than CA with this requirement. And CA is the only state where it matters, because the majorities in the other states are lopsided enough to overcome the requirement. Other states have lopsided majorities, Repub or Dem, but get by without this requirement. Is there some evidence that CA is better governed than those other states because of the requrement? If there is, I didn’t get the memo.

  • Elwood

    “But, then, they would pay the price at the polls.”

    And a terrible price it is too. Re-elected again and again by their dependency constituency. Forced to run for higher office and play musical chairs in constitutional offices.

    The horror! The horror!