(Sacramento) – Today the Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Improving State Government held the first in a series of joint hearings. Senate Chair Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Assembly Chair Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) led the discussion on legislative branch and budget process reforms.
“State government needs a new blueprint based on best ideas here and across the nation. It needs to focus on our state’s top priorities, reflect innovative and long-term thinking, and encourage bipartisanship,” said Feuer. “Ultimately, this reform effort is about creating the conditions for California government to succeed.”
“We’re going to deliver meaningful and immediate suggestions to the Legislature as we work toward better serving the citizens of California,” said DeSaulnier.
Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass formed the bipartisan select committees in September to address the pressing need for state governmental reform and evaluate major reform proposals. To accomplish this ambitious effort, the committees will jointly host five hearings at various locations throughout the state, taking on topics including ballot box budgeting and initiative process reforms, legislative oversight of state government agencies, and relationships between state and local governments. The committees’ work will culminate with the introduction of reform legislation when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
“State government needs to be more transparent, efficient and effective,” said Speaker Bass. “Today’s hearing is the first step in the process toward reforming our system of government and making it work better for the people of California.”
“Those of us inside the Capitol are quite familiar with state government’s systemic problems. If the current system isn’t working for us, then it isn’t working for Californians. That has got to change,” said President pro Tempore Steinberg.
Panelists at the first hearing represented elected offices, policy think-tanks, academic institutions and media outlets. Current and former elected officials weighed in on areas of improvement to the Legislature, among them State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, former Assembly Republican leader Robert Naylor and Inspector General Laura Chick.