If there were no consequences for running a red light or robbing a bank, more people would run red lights and rob banks. Since there are no consequences when the CA State Legislature fails to pass a budget on time, it comes as no surprise that year after year, the Legislature fails to pass a budget on time.
When the Legislature fails to pass a timely budget, Californians suffer financial consequences; work furloughs and payment by IOU for example. While people suffer because legislators won’t obey the law, legislators drive expensive cars and live in fancy homes paid for by the Californians whose suffering they cause. (Taxpayers pay state senators and representatives an annual salary of $110,880 and $138.00 per diem for each day they’re in session.)
The Legislature is more concerned with scoring political points than serving the people. Since legislators won’t change, it’s time for California voters to pass an initiative that spells out severe consequences for not passing a budget by the Constitutional deadline.
If every legislator had to perform a week’s community service for every day the budget was late, the budget would ALWAYS be passed on time.
If every legislator lost a month’s salary for every day the budget was late, the budget would ALWAYS be passed on time.
I’m looking for a lawyer who’d be interested in writing such an initiative. Once the initiative is written, I’ll be first to collect the signatures needed to place it on the ballot. Once on the ballot, it could very well pass by the largest majority in state history!