Government watchers say Proposition 54 created more accountability this year at the state Capitol, but should have applied to bills even earlier in the legislative process.
The measure was passed by voters last fall and requires bills be in print for three days before a final vote.
Mindy Romero, director of the Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis, says Prop 54 should have applied to bills as they pass through the individual houses of the Legislature – not just on final votes before they head to the governor’s desk.
“I think it’s pretty clear at least for advocates, good government folks and those who supported 54 that the spirit, if not the letter, was that this should be happening in the house of origin and we’re not having the accountability that would hope to be, that would come from this proposition if it was not interpreted in that way,” says Romero.
Some lawmakers expressed concern about the measure, saying it prevented them from being as nimble as they needed to be on last-minute negotiations.