- Bill Limits:
- Self-imposed limits to the number of bills a legislator may introduce in a two-year session.
- Gut and Amend:
- The process of stripping a bill in a legislative body of all of its original provisions in order to insert and submit a completely different bill for consideration.
- Congressional Model:
- A legislative process modeled after the House of Representatives that includes giving Committee Chairs more discretion over which bills are heard and in what order.
Budget Process Reform
- Two-Year Budget:
- A state budget that is adopted to cover a two-year period of revenue and spending; California currently passes an annual budget.
- Performance-Based Budgeting:
- A budget process that identifies a desired goal or outcome, then allocates funds necessary to achieve that outcome.
- Zero-Based Budget:
- A budget process requiring that each expenditure be justified based on outcomes in the next spending period.This process does not assume that an agency's funding will be based primarily on its prior-year budget.
- Reserve Requirements:
- A formula or process for establishing a “rainy-day” fund; money set aside for fiscal emergencies.
- Budget Vote Threshold:
- The percentage of votes necessary to pass a state budget. California is one of only three states requiring a 2/3 budget vote.
- A percentage of affirmative votes on a proposal that exceeds a majority, often 55%, 60%, or 2/3.
- Voting threshold:
- The number or percentage of votes by which a proposal can be passed in a legislative body.
State Government Reorganization
- Sunset Review Commission:
- A State Commission charged with evaluating state agencies, boards, and commissions to determine if they are still supporting critical state outcomes.The Commission may recommend changes to agencies or their elimination, subject to legislative veto.
- Charter Agencies:
- State government agencies in a program that gives them greater authority and flexibility in exchange for strict outcome measures and documented savings or revenues to the State.
- Agency Innovation Funds:
- A funding pool set aside for Agencies that agree to retool their operations to optimize efficiency, cut spending, or better achieve their stated outcomes. Often paired with the "Charter Agency" concept.
State/Local Government Reform
- Local Bond Measure Threshold:
- The vote percentage necessary to pass a local (ex. school infrastructure) bond measure.
- Indirect Initiative:
- A rarely-used procedure for initiating a public vote on a matter. A petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters is submitted to the Secretary of State, which forwards it to the Legislature. The legislature then has 40 days to act on the measure, and cannot change its provisions. If it passes the Legislature and the Governor signs the measure, it becomes law. If the Legislature fails to act, the Secretary of State puts the measure on the ballot for the next general election. California had an indirect initiative process until the 1960s, when it was repealed.
- Constitutional Amendment Vote Threshold:
- The percentage necessary to pass a change to California's constitution.
- Pay-As-You-Go (Pay-Go) Requirement:
- A term referring to the idea that a bill or initiative that requires funding for a specified program should identify an ongoing or new source of funding, as opposed to creating a mandate without a funding source.