Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

Jon Fleischman

Sunshine Week’s Over – It’s “Lights Out” In The State Capitol

We just got this in from longtime FR friend Assemblyman Brian Nestande, who has long been a proponent of transparency in the legislature…

It is ironic that one week after California celebrated “Sunshine Week,” which highlights the need for more openness in state government, the majority party in Sacramento passed shell budget bills that keep taxpayers in the dark on how their hard-earned tax dollars will be spent.

During yesterday’s Assembly session, Democrats passed 37 empty budget spot bills to the Senate. The Senate passed a similar number of bills over to the Assembly. The proposals did not contain any specific language, but will be amended at a later date to reflect the majority party’s budget proposal.

Californians deserve to know how the Legislature is spending their money. Passing budget bills where the details will be decided in a back room shuts taxpayers out of the budget process.

The Assembly should be voting on fully-detailed budget proposals that can later be reconciled with proposals from the Senate, not shell measures that will later be transformed at the eleventh hour into a majority party budget plan without the opportunity for the public to review or weigh in on the plan. The method of the Assembly and Senate passing their own budgets and then reconciling the differences used to be the budget process in the Legislature many years ago.

That’s why I have proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment 13, which would require an independent third party, the State Controller, to review estimated revenues and expenditures and certify that a budget passed by the Legislature is balanced before it can be signed by the Governor. Under ACA 13, if the Controller does not certify the budget as balanced, the Legislature will not be allowed to adjourn.

I’m always fighting for more “sunshine” in government to restore your voice in the people’s house.

Asm. Nestande / Budget Transparency from CA Assembly GOP on Vimeo.