(Prop 8 is the "we hate teh gays" one. Prop 13 is the mid-70s Republican-minority power-grab that explains why California is the 8th largest economy in the world but has a public education system that consistently ranks 49th out of 50 in the country.)
In analyzing Proposition 8, the state Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Ronald George, laid out those definitions and concluded that the measure was properly thought of as an amendment, for though it did great and noxious damage to the rights of gay Californians, it did not reach the structure of government itself. Reading the court's opinion in that case, Norris said he had two reactions. "I thought the outcome was correct ... even though I didn't like the outcome," he said in an interview last week. "And I was intrigued by Ron George's review of the various California Supreme Court cases over the decades on the distinction between an amendment and a revision."
That started Norris thinking: WasProposition 13, which was passed as an amendment, really a revision? [...]
That language has had a profound impact on the power of the executive and the Legislature. The power that it constrains -- the authority to raise public funds -- is among the most fundamental of government. And the requirement gives more weight to some legislators -- and, by extension, their constituents. As the lawsuit notes, "legislators opposing a tax increase are given the functional equivalent of more votes than those legislators who favor such proposals."
The result is that Proposition 13 has altered power in the Capitol and appreciably weakened the ability of the Legislature to pass new taxes, which sounds an awful lot like a "change in the basic plan" of state government.