California Forward Reforms Move Ahead
Pro Tem Steinberg, Speaker Pérez Join Push for Non-Partisan Proposals
SACRAMENTO – Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Pérez announced today that the Legislature’s proposal to overhaul the state Constitution will include California Forward’s non-partisan plan to reform the budget process and give communities new tools to solve local problems.
The legislative leaders, joined at a news conference by Senator Mark Desaulnier, Senator Denise Ducheny and Assemblymember Mike Feuer, announced plans to immediately begin consideration of a constitutional revision based on the non-profit organization’s proposals and the work of two legislative committees working on reform.
“This is what leadership looks like. In times like these, it’s not easy or sexy or fun. It’s hard work,” said California Forward Co-Chair Bob Hertzberg. “Right now, that means getting California moving again so California can lead again – and I applaud Speaker Pérez, Pro Tem Steinberg, Sens. Desaulnier and Ducheny and Assemblymember Feuer for taking on this challenge.”
California Forward Co-Chair Tom McKernan, CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California, said the group continues to work closely with Republican leaders, who bring a perspective critical to the ultimate success of any reform effort.
“The only party California Forward’s reform principles come from is the party of common sense. We looked across the country at best practices – we didn’t care whether an idea came from a blue state or a red state,” McKernan said. “Our question was, does it deliver results? Would it help get responsible budgets passed on time? That’s how we arrived at our proposals – and we welcome the chance to have them heard in the Legislature.”
The constitutional revision will be based on reform principles California Forward outlined last year, and mirror a pair of initiatives the California Forward Action Fund had drafted for the November ballot. The group will put its initiatives on hold while lawmakers debate the legislation.
Because constitutional revisions are not covered by the single-subject rule that governs initiatives, the revision legislation will incorporate elements of both initiative proposals, the Best Practices Budget Accountability Act and the Community Funding Protection and Accountability Act.
“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity to set aside a status quo that isn’t working and replace it with a modern budget process that sets clear goals for every program, demands accountability and takes action when things go wrong,” Hertzberg said. “Californians are eager for this debate because they understand what’s at stake, the future of our state.”