Using public choice economics, how might we redesign the Constitution of California? Lawmakers from both parties have proposed this idea, plus there were (failed) attempts to call a new constitutional convention through a referendum. Did you know that the operative constitution from 1879 is the third longest in the world, after Alabama and India?
I see a few options on the table:
1. Eliminate the 2/3 legislative majority required to pass a new budget.
2. Eliminate popular referenda.
3. Move closer to a Swiss-like "veto only" system for referenda.
4. Eliminate the power of referenda to authorize state-level expenditures.
5. Cap state-level expenditures.
6. Regulate state treatment of pensions more strictly, to encourage fiscal responsibility.
7. Amend the constitution to make it harder to…amend the constitution.
Joseph Palermo proposes doubling the number of State assembly members and Senators, ending term limits, ending state tax exemptions for extractive industries, and limiting out-of-state money to influence elections, plus finance and referenda changes similar to those stated above.
Is there a good theory of which changes are appropriate or inappropriate at the constitutional level?
Here's one downside:
With everything on the table, the same interest groups that today fight tooth and nail over a budget resolution or a ballot measure can be expected to do battle even more vociferously over an entirely new Constitution.
I welcome your suggestions in the comments. Surely economics has a contribution here, right?