Don't put all the blame for the California fiscal crisis on the legislators; they do put some whacky programs in place (libs), or give some questionable 'tax credits' to special interests (conservatives), but look at all the "feel good" ballot initiatives that have been passed over the years by the voters since 1978 (when Prop 13 was on the ballot). These have ranged over every special interest from environmental to agriculture to "really, really tough" on non-violent crime to programs for kids, the poor, the elderly, etc. All those programs had to be paid for, and the intiatives usually did that by either mandating an apportionment of the general fund budget to fund the new program (either a percent or fixed amount with inflationary adjustments), or through the sale of bonds. Its all resulted in a state budget that's already apportioned by the time the budget process occurs each year to pay for those programs, and leaves no 'wiggle room' to manuplate the funds to account for economic downturns. The result is cutting small, non-essential stuff like state park funding. I'm a local government employee right now, and I'd be open to looking at retirement funding changes, too - increase the minimum retirement age to 62, 65 or ? with a maximum payout percentage cap.
Prop 13 was a meat-axe approach and was initiated due to lack of legislative backbone to resolve the manic year-to-year variations in property tax levels. Maybe it should be looked at (maybe modify the increase to match the cost of living or something other economic index rather than the 2% limit?), but all us California residents should take a hard look at any future ballot initiative that involves spending money and stop voting ourselves into a deeper fiscal hole.