Another Spending Limit?

California's constitutions is littered with spending rules. There's the Gann spending limit. And a couple different reserve funds. And all sorts of special funds and accounts to keep certain dollars separate. In fact, no state in the country has more rules on spending (or taxes) in its constitution and law than California.

The combination of all these rules -- many of them contradictory -- make the state so difficult to govern. But now there's another proposal for another spending limit. The details are here.

California should be going in the opposite direction -- by unwinding all the limits, spending mandates and other fiscal rules it already has. When one looks at states that do a good job of managing their fnances -- Virginia and Indiana come most often to mind -- it's striking how these states have virtually none of these kinds of spending and tax rules in their constitution. The absence of rules gives their elected officials the power to find ways to balance their budgets.

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