The California Secretary of State cleared for signature gathering voters’ initiative 19-0012, that would do the following if passed:
* Replace the current partisan bicameral legislature with a non-partisan unicameral one.
* Increase the number of legislators from 40 State Senators and 80 Assembly Members to 250 legislators intended to represent by 2024 80,000 to 100,000 persons for each legislator.
* According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, if passed this initiative would incur a one-time cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the State Capitol in Sacramento to accommodate the new legislators, incur ongoing increased building maintenance costs of a few million dollars annually, and incur state costs of millions of dollars per year to oversee elections.
What are the Real Changes?
The substantive changes this initiative if passed would implement would be,
* A significant growth in government.
* A significant growth in legislators writing laws to govern California residents.
* A significant growth in costs, and thus presumably taxpayer obligations.
Can the Changes Accomplish Objectives?
Whether this initiative would accomplish its objectives might be questionable.
* There would be no change in California’s proportional representation based on population. Thus, the populous coastal areas would continue to dominate sparsely-populated inland areas.
* The hope that much smaller districts would afford residents better control of their representatives might be a consummation devoutly to be wished.
Representatives Without Representation
This Nation was born over the rallying cry “Taxation Without Representation!” Today perhaps the rallying cry should be “Representatives Without Representation!”
The Just Vote No Blog has often noted a new trend: Ideological legislators whose actions are based on what they believe is needed from their point of view, not based on what their constituents need or want.
We are not speaking here about unconstitutional proposals, which legislators should indeed reject. We are talking about ordinary things described in the Just Vote No Article Who Are California Legislators Working For?
Government Growth is Not The Solution But the Problem
Whether smaller districts at significantly increased costs would change the present ideological bent of legislators is something voters need to think about when considering increasing the size of our legislature.
Our Founding Fathers advocated a lean Federal government that focused on specific enumerated obligations. They did not opine on how states should govern, as long as states operated withing the bounds of the Federal Constitution.
California’s government is anything but lean. The volume of laws and regulations attempting to control every aspect of California residents’ lives is mind boggling. Could residents in a smaller district control such a tsunami?