California is in deep trouble because it has a dysfunctional system of government. Much of the problem can be change by one sentence.
I have sent to the attorney general a ballot proposition for the 2010 ballot called The California Democracy Act, the content of which is the following: All legislative action on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote.
It would change two words in the Constitution, turning "two-thirds" to "majority" in two places. It is simple, understandable and it is about democracy.
I will be speaking on this in Los Angeles Thursday night. (See note below.)
As I see it, democracy is the main issue in the governance of our state. The two-thirds rules have an anti-democratic effect. Our legislature is currently under minority rule. One-third plus one - only 34 percent -of either the Assembly or Senate can block the will of the majority until their demands are met. This is undemocratic.
Minority rule is why we have gridlock in the legislature. Minority rule has brought our state to near bankruptcy, causing crises throughout the state.
A majority of California voters have elected a majority of the state legislators, and that majority is responsible and, so far as I can tell, overwhelmingly dedicated to sane fiscal management and to serving the needs of our citizens. But they are handcuffed by minority rule.
Democracy can work in California. What the majority of voters want, a majority in the legislature will enact. And it only takes a majority of voters to enact that one-sentence amendment.