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State of California March 2, 2004 Election
Proposition 58
The California Balanced Budget Act
State of California

Legislative Constitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required

4,461,157 / 71.1% Yes votes ...... 1,813,507 / 28.9% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Mar 26 4:14pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (21830/21830)
Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Should the state Constitution be amended to require that the state adopt a balanced budget and provide for mid-year adjustments if the budget falls out of balance? Should the Constitution also include state budget reserve requirements and limits on future borrowing to finance budget deficits?

Summary Prepared by the State Attorney General:
Requires enactment of a balanced budget where General Fund expenditures do not exceed estimated General Fund revenues.

Allows the Governor to proclaim a fiscal emergency in specified circumstances, and submit proposed legislation to address the fiscal emergency.

Requires the Legislature to stop other action and act on legislation proposed to address the emergency.

Establishes a budget reserve.

Provides that the California Economic Recovery Bond Act (Proposition 57) is for a single object or work.

Prohibits any future deficit bonds.

Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:
Unknown net state fiscal effects, which will vary year by year and depend in part on actions of future Legislatures.

Reserve provisions may smooth state spending, with reductions during economic expansions and increases during downturns.

Balanced budget and debt limitation provisions could result in more immediate actions to correct budgetary shortfalls.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
A YES vote on this measure means: The State Constitution would be amended to provide for: (1) the enactment of a balanced state budget, (2) state budget reserve requirements, and (3) limits on future borrowing to finance state budget deficits.

A NO vote of this measure means:
A NO vote on this measure means: The State Constitution would not be amended to add new requirements on state budgetary practices.

Impartial Analysis from the Legislative Analyst
(will be entered later)

  Official Information

Secretary of State

Legislative Analysts's Office Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters - Analysis

League of Women Voters - Background Events

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News and Analysis

KQED San Francisco 88.5FM

The Sacramento Bee Partisan Information


Suggest a link related to Proposition 58
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Arguments For Proposition 58 Arguments Against Proposition 58
Proposition 58, the California Balanced Budget Act, will require for the first time, that the Governor and Legislature pass a balanced budget.

It will also require general funds to be put in a "Rainy Day" fund to build a reserve to protect California from future economic downturns.

As California faced unprecedented budget deficits for the last 3 years, the problem was ignored, spending exceeded revenues, and there was no process in place to address the fiscal crisis. Proposition 58 will allow the Governor to call a Special Session of the Legislature to deal with future fiscal crises. If the Legislature fails to act within 45 days, then they will not be able to recess and they will not be able to pass any other legislation. This will force the Governor and the Legislature to work together to find a solution to the problem before it is too late.

At a time when our state has the lowest credit rating in the nation, politicians want to borrow $15 billion more, long term, and, noting that the Constitution won't let them, shred that prohibition with Proposition 58, cynically named the "Balanced Budget Act." Don't be fooled.

Yes, California's constitution prohibits long-term borrowing from being used to balance the budget. Proposition 58 will suspend that, while exempting short-term borrowing.

That contradiction led Daniel Weintraub, perhaps the most respected newspaper columnist in California, to write: "the balanced-budget requirement doesn't actually require that lawmakers approve a balanced budget."

As for some of its other provisions: California already has a reserve requirement in current law. The Governor already has the power to call the legislature into session to address a developing budget shortfall. We don't need Proposition 58.

Full Text of Proposition 58
For the full text of this measure, go to page 20 in the link

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Created: May 4, 2004 14:48 PDT
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