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The Vacaville Reporter: Prop. 31 [is] sensible reform

October 26, 2012

Solano County voters studying state ballot issues may feel they've seen Proposition 31 before. They could be right. It's an expanded version of government reforms that state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Solano, has promoted for years.

The most recent version of her proposal, Senate Bill 14, even made it through the Legislature, only to be rejected by the governor. Now it's up to voters to make the sensible reforms that politicians won't make for themselves.

That includes establishing a two-year state budget cycle; requiring the Legislature to make most bills, including the budget, available for public review 72 hours before it votes on them (the same rule city councils, school boards and other local government agencies already follow); ensuring that state-funded programs are systematically reviewed at least every five years, to ensure they are accomplishing what they were set up to do; and requiring legislation that authorizes any new, ongoing program that will cost more than $25 million a year to identify how it will be paid for (similar to the federal "pay as you go" requirements now followed in Congress).

In addition, Proposition 31 expands the ability of local governments to work together to solve community problems, and gives them the power to transfer local property tax revenue among themselves to accomplish those goals.

The Reporter Editorial Board has supported Sen. Wolk's attempts to reform the Legislature in the past and heartily endorses Proposition 31. It may not be the only reform needed in Sacramento, but it's certainly a good start.

Read the entire editorial in The Reporter.