The GPAA: What They’re Saying

150 150 Chris Nelson

A little over a week ago, the California Forward Action Fund introduced the Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA) as a potential ballot initiative for 2012. It’s revenue-neutral and addresses the severe lack of efficiency, transparency and accountability that is all but woven into Sacramento’s DNA at this point.

Basic tenets of the bill are resonating, such as a shift to a two year “performance based” budgeting process and a requirement that all bills are made available to the public at least three days before final passage to prevent covert, last-minute shuffles through legislation.

The initiative quickly garnered support in the press as soon as it was launched. Here we present a coverage roundup of the GPAA thus far and it ranges from cautious optimism to unequivocal support.

The editorial staff at the Contra Costa Times quickly offered their full support the weekend after the initiative was filed, saying that “California Forward has put together a set of reforms that deserve serious consideration by all Californians, especially those in elected office at all levels of government.” [This editorial was also re-printed in the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Torrance Daily Breeze]

The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert offers a concise, straightforward summary of the measure and its basic components.

The newly formed California Moderate Party states that this initiative “has the potential to fundamentally overhaul California’s governance so that’s it’s better aligned with the 21st Century digital age in which we live.”

California City News opines that “[i]t should come as no surprise that California Forward’s ballot proposal to address the state’s lingering dysfunction is garnering plenty of attention as well as support.”

Peter Shrag at the Caifornia Progress Report offers solid optimism, saying that the GPAA “rates as among the most ambitious and, just maybe, among the most intriguing.:

John Myers of KQED says that the proposal is “one that tackles just about everything on the dysfunctional government front in California” and is most intrigued by the state/local restructuring and the creation of Community Strategic Action Plans.

The editorial staff at the Riverside Press Enterprise note that tne “Legislature already should — and could — be reviewing programs regularly to see if they are effective or even necessary, as the California Forward proposal requires,” but that the initiative is wholly necessary to affect such change at this point.

Bruce McPherson at the San Jose Mercury News sums up the measure nicely, saying “[i]t isn’t about raising taxes; it doesn’t tell the state how to run its schools, prisons and social programs. It’s about the ability of everyday California residents to hold their elected leaders accountable for real results.”

The editorial staff at the San Jose Mercury News also weighed in, asserting that “if this plan were in place, it could significantly improve public services without increasing costs. Nothing would be more attractive to voters.” It’s just on us to make the potential benefits of the GPAA crystal clear, they say.

And finally, California government watchdog site Fox & Hounds expresses strong support for the measure that they believe provides “a framework that brings government closer to the people and thus accountable to the people,” and will give “local government more responsibility and authority both for public planning and budgeting at the level where social and economic programs have the most immediate and dramatic impact, and leadership can be held directly responsible for its policies and performance.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Read more about the GPAA and California Forward’s Smart Government Framework.


Chris Nelson

All stories by: Chris Nelson