An initiative that would make major changes to the state budget process has qualified for the November ballot, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Tuesday.
The California Government Performance and Accountability Act would:
-- establish a two-year budget cycle;
-- prohibit the Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified;
-- permit the governor to cut the budget unilaterally during fiscal emergencies if the Legislature fails to act;
-- require performance goals in state and local budgets;
-- require publication of all bills at least three days before a legislative vote; and
-- give counties the power to alter state laws or regulations related to spending unless the Legislature or state agency vetoes the changes within 60 days.
The measure would result in decreased state revenues and commensurate increased local revenues, probably in the range of about $200 million annually, beginning in the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to an estimate from the Legislative Analyst's Office and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos.
There is also the potential of decreased state program costs or increased state revenues. There would be increased state and local costs of tens of millions of dollars annually to implement new budgeting practices, but over time, these costs wold moderate and potentially be offset by savings from improved program efficiencies, according to the estimate.
- City News Service