Even though California spends over $100 billion a year of taxpayer money, lawmakers spend little time and energy to analyze how those dollars are used and if government programs are effective. This results in autopilot spending and the passage of irresponsible budgets that are not based on in-depth research and analyses.
As the chart demonstrates, total state spending from all fund sources has continued to increase each year in excess of population and inflation.
Where Does the State Spend Its Money?
The largest area of state spending is for education, followed by health and human services and corrections.
Health & Human Services
(Dollars in Millions)
My Plan to Control Spending
I have proposed two companion measures to improve the oversight of government programs, promote accountability, and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
The first, Senate Constitutional Amendment 1,calls for an audit and performance evaluation of every state program. Before approving budget items, lawmakers should demand evidence showing the effectiveness of programs. The audit findings will guide lawmakers when crafting a budget.
The second, Senate Constitutional Amendment 2, will give the Legislature the time necessary to produce responsible budgets based on comprehensive analyses of state spending. This Constitutional Amendment requires that 1 year during each 2-year session is spent focusing on government oversight and developing a responsible budget based on the findings of audits and performance evaluations. The second year would be spent reviewing other legislative proposals.
I also support a strong budget spending cap.
A spending cap will guarantee that state spending grows responsibly over time, along with increases in inflation and population. This will protect taxpayers against attempts to grow government by funding long-term programs with one time revenues.