Cal Poly is expected to be the panel’s last stop on a state-wide tour of college campuses.
The Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy will host a panel on legislative reform at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center on Friday at 10 a.m.
The discussion will feature diverse voices, such as Stanford physicist-turned-GOP-political-donor Charles T. Munger, Jr.; Phillip Ung, a representative for nonprofit advocacy group Common Cause; and Cal Poly political science professor Michael Latner, among others. Hot topics will include the budget crisis and supermajority rule within the state legislature.
“We want to pass on our knowledge to future leaders,” said panel co-host Dan Schnur, director of Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at University of Southern California.
He hopes to make students aware of reforms that are needed to bring positive changes to the political system, Schnur said.
And voters have more power than ever. Because a two-thirds supermajority is required to raise taxes, the state legislature often uses voter initiatives — which only require a simple majority — to raise taxes. One of the topics the panel will discuss is voter power on taxation, which gives the public unprecedented control over budget implementation. The downside is that only popular measures get passed, Latner said.
“Californians tend to prefer money to go to schools; prisoners, not so much,” Latner said.
As the state legislature churns out hundreds of bills per year, the public may have a hard time keeping up. And with the government shutdown bringing the federal government to a grinding halt, it’s more important than ever that the state government run smoothly, Ung said.
The event will also air live on the Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy website.