Monday, May 04, 2009

Better government ahead?

The good and great have reminded me that I haven't posted here in a while.  I started to, now and then, but obviously, I'm delinquent earning my pay and reputation as a blogger.  I have no coherent or clever ideas to post about, so now is a perfect time to remedy the situation.

Generally speaking, I have been an enthusiastic critic of California's legislature and a temperate admirer of the administration.  One thought substitute I can offer is this: We may reasonably hope that California's government improves as a result of the budget crisis.  The legislature might improve because fools and cowards wait to be forced before acting, so the impossibility of California's budget may be enough to move a super-majority, if not a consensus in the statehouse.  Someone should spray paint legislators shoes on the capitol carpet to verify, but our representatives may start to move any day now.

The administration might improve also because of reduced friction.  For three terms now, DDS has sought to reduce the growth of its spending.  Good ideas and bad ideas have come to naught (the resistance obviously being to ideas.)  In our current predicament,  the reform instinct ought to be nearly as common outside the Bateson building as it is within. 

There are reasons a reforming government may not be a good thing.  Some of the ideas that have come out of DDS for reform have spanned the range from simplistic to stupid, the statewide POS standards being an example of the latter category, and "discounted" rates an example of the former.  But some, such as self-determination/direction and performance accounting have been inspired unaccomplishments.  If the administration can focus on smart reform, to the purpose of more efficiently serving people with disabilities and the legislature can learn to say yes to good ideas and no to advocates as needed, then the California's burgeoning poverty may yet profit the state.

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