Op-ed: Require the budget to be for two years
August 19, 2010 by Bob Hertzberg & Mike Genest
In an opinion piece published today by The Sacramento Bee, Democrat Bob Hertzberg and Republican Mike Genest urge the Legislature to pass comprehensive budget reform modeled after the California Forward 2010 Reform Principles.
Here's an excerpt.
"As one lifelong Democrat and former Assembly speaker and one former budget director to a Republican governor, it's not likely that the two of us would ever agree with each other on how to best resolve the state's budget dilemma.
"But we agree on this much – our state budget system is broken. It does not create confidence among taxpayers that services are provided efficiently and effectively. It does not force policymakers to set priorities and plan ahead. And it creates one crisis after another. Recognizing these shortcomings, the Legislature and the governor have worked hard to find ways to address them. Now, those efforts are on the verge of paying off. Real budget reform is within reach, but time is running out.
"Budget reform will not solve the current budget crisis. Having collectively spent decades achieving the difficult balance between accounting and politics, we know how profound that challenge is, especially during the worst recession in the state's history.
"Every budget requires compromise. As the parties come together to make those difficult decisions, it's not too late to include the simple but profound reforms that will help avert the next budget crisis before it begins."