Budget crunch and the 2/3rds rule

Jeremy Oberstein reports at the Glendale News Press that if California doesn’t buckle down and pass its overdue budget by July 1st, the repercussions could be painful:

…community colleges, special education programs, nursing homes, cancer detection programs and small businesses that provide services to the state might not receive more than $1 billion in state funds on time, said Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman in the office of Controller John Chiang…

“If we reach June 30 and no budget is passed, the next step could be painful, as people might have to rely on their own resources,” Casaleggio said. “Hopefully they can rely on money saved. Oftentimes, some groups get lines of credit to meet obligations. But the reality is, when there is no budget in place, the controller can’t make certain payments.”

Monday was a constitutionally mandated deadline… expectedly ignored.

Oberstein writes that the two obstacles state Democrats and Republicans are encountering, besides deep party divisions, are  Republicans’ solid refusal to increase any taxes, and a required 2/3rds majority to pass a budget.  Some lawmakers hope to change the state constitution to change budget approval to 50% plus one.

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