Haphazard budgeting at the ballot box only ensures that the state's fiscal turmoil will continue. California needs to use available resources wisely. Voters should help advance that effort by rejecting ballot measures that create arbitrary spending formulas and new earmarks.
Ballot-box budgeting is the issue behind AB 2220, by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles. The bill would mandate a ballot pamphlet reminder to voters about proposed initiatives that would raise new revenue and dedicate it to specific programs. The official analysis of such measures would have to include language specifying that the money raised by the initiative would go only to the intended programs, and would not be available for other state needs unless voters approved changes later. The requirement would not apply to tax measures that directed the resulting money into the general fund without restriction.