Friday, February 12, 2010

Some facts from Thad Kousser on California

I went to a very nice talk by Thad Kousser (UCSD) yesterday on whether California is "ungovernable." Some of the takeaways I got (and if I screwed any of this up, it us my fault, not Thad's):

(1) The California legislature really has gotten more polarized over the years.

(2) The people of California have not.

(3) Politically, California has changed from a North-South state (D's north and R's south) to a West-East state (D's west and R's east).

(4) For non-budget legislation, California actually is governed quite well.

(5) For budget legislation, it is not.

(6) The difference is that the budget requires 2/3 approval, whereas other types of
legislation only requires a majority.

(7) The 2/3 rule is not a Prop-13 phenomenon--it has been around since the 1930s.

1 comment:

David Barker said...


When I lived in Berkeley in the early 1980s the student humor magazine ran an article saying that California should be split along I5, not north-south as many were saying at the time. (they also argued that Lake Tahoe should go with West CA along with a special corridor along I80)

My point is that the East-West split might not be so new.