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California Proposition 165, the "Government Accountability and Taxpayer Protection Act" (1992)

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California Proposition 165, or the Government Accountability and Taxpayer Protection Act of 1992, was on the November 3, 1992 ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 165 would have changed California's budget process in several ways and increased the Governor's control over state spending. It would have changed the deadline for the governor to submit a budget to the California State Legislature from January 10 to March 1. It would have prohibited the payment of salaries and expenses to members of the state legislature in years that the legislature failed to produce a budget by June 15. It would have allowed the governor to declare a "fiscal emergency" when a budget was not in place by July 1.

Election results

Proposition 165
Defeatedd No5,577,06153.39%
Yes 4,869,305 46.61%

Constitutional changes

If Proposition 165 had passed, it would have amended Section 31 of Article I and Section 12 of Article IV of the California Constitution.

Ballot summary

Proposition 165's official ballot summary said:

  • Amends Constitution to allow Governor to declare "fiscal emergency" when budget not adopted or deficit exceeds specified percentages. Grants Governor, with restrictions, powers to reduce expenditures to balance budget including state salaries but not education (Proposition 98).
  • Amends statutes to eliminate or limit automatic cost of living adjustments in specified welfare programs.
  • Reduces Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) by 10%, then 15% after six months on aid. Limits aid for new residents. Provides teenage recipients school attendance incentives.
  • Gives counties discretion to set general assistance.
  • Implements as federal law permits. Other provisions.

Fiscal estimate

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • Potential state savings, or costs of up to several hundred million or billions of dollars in some years, depending on the budget situation.
  • Annual savings of about $680 million to the state General Fund and $35 million to counties, due to changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program. The savings are due primarily to grant reductions. Savings in years beyond 1993-94 could increase by an unknown, but potentially significant, amount, due to the effect of certain provisions.
  • Potential annual savings beginning in 1996-97 -- up to several hundred million dollars to the state and several million dollars to counties -- due to elimination of automatic cost of living adjustments in the AFDC Program and the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program (SSI/SSP).
  • Unknown annual savings to counties -- probably over $75 million and potentially several hundred million dollars -- due to payment limits and funding discretion in general assistance (GA) programs. These savings would be partly offset by additional GA costs of up to $30 million annually, due to the effects of the measure's AFDC provisions.

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