Local community leaders are expected to take part in a discussion on state constitution reform during a town hall meeting in Santa Monica Friday, July 17th.

The event is scheduled from 6:15 to 9:30 p.m. at the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College, 1310 11th St. The discussion will address the need for a California constitutional convention and the impacts it would have on the state’s economy and its ability to function.

The State of California entered a new fiscal year on July 1st without having enacted a budget to fund state services. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said that as a result, the state has been forced to issue IOUs to contractors and municipalities, at a great cost, both financially and in terms of service, to California taxpayers.

To prevent similar budget crises in the future, Rosendahl said he will discuss the merit of a California constitutional convention to enact necessary reforms to the state constitution.

The councilman referred to the 1978 passage of Proposition 13, which reduced state revenue through property taxes and imposed a two-thirds majority in both houses of the State Legislature in order to pass a budget. As a result, the state has not had an on-time budget for the last several decades, he said. In 1990, term limits were imposed on legislators by voters, further complicating the budget process.

Discussion of these issues and many others, their impact on the budget process, and the potential and need for reform will be highlighted at the forum. It will provide the public an opportunity to weigh in on the issues, and to address whether California should hold a constitutional convention in the near future to reform the process.

Rosendahl will be joined by other local leaders including state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley,

former Santa Monica City Councilman Michael Feinstein, Santa Monica Councilwoman Pam O’Connor and Santa Monica College Board of Trustees member Nancy Greenstein.

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