Sure the Legislature may be gone, but this still promises
to be a busy week in state politics. Today, the governor
will likely veto Joe Simitian's renewable energy bill while staging a ceremony to
announce his own executive order on the issue. Consider
it all part of the international campaign for Schwarzenegger
as Jolly Green Giant.
Tomorrow is a hearing on the state's prison health care system, as the state tries to
wrest control over the system from the federal receiver.
And Friday, the state presents its plan to a three-judge panel to deal with the prison overcrowding issue.
Add to that some park closure announements, and the
tax commission report, and you've got yourself one heck of a week.
But first, Shane Goldmacher and Patrick McGreevy look back at some of the dirty dancing that went on
at the end of session . "A plan to keep dozens of domestic-violence shelters from closing sailed
out of the state Assembly late Friday night with nary
a no vote. Yet
hours later, the bill lay in the legislative trash
heap, one of many
lost to politics as lawmakers reached the deadline
for completing their
work this year.
"Republicans in the Senate blocked more than 20 bills -- all needing GOP
votes to pass, many approved by the lower house with
near-unanimous support -- to leverage a trio of unrelated demands.
Chief among those was the elimination of a program
that allowed mostly
low-income Californians to have the state do their tax
something the maker of TurboTax has been trying to
achieve for years.
"The other demands, which Democrats say they were willing
to meet, were
putting a Republican name on a popular bill and tweaking
breaks passed months ago.
"This is what they hold out for?" exasperated Senate leader Darrell
Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday.
"One by one, bills to keep the shelters open, help counties
the next swine flu outbreak and blunt the effect of
the state's raid on
local funds, among others, fell as GOP senators refused
"There's no policy dispute, most involved agreed, though Republicans
said the blockade wasn't so much about the demands as the principle of
trust. Democrats, they said, broke promises that had
summer's budget pact."
"Most of the stalled bills can be taken up later, Hollingsworth
Lawmakers are expected to return soon to Sacramento
for special fall
sessions on several issues.
"There's nothing to be alarmed about here," he said.
Jeez, I feel better already...
Wyatt Buchanan looks at the governor's renewable energy plans.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto a renewable energy
standard passed Saturday by the Legislature and instead
will launch, by
executive order today, his own plan to require utilities
to get a third
of their energy from renewable sources, administration
Eric Baiely looks at the Tax Commission's overhaul plan.
"A government commission hammered out the final outlines
revolutionary changes it will propose in the way Californians
taxes, including a flattened income tax that would
largely benefit the
wealthy and a broad business levy to replace existing
The proposal by the Commission on the 21st
Century Economy will soon head to the state Legislature,
which is being
prodded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to embrace the
fall. It is unclear whether the Legislature will do
his bidding, or
even how many of the commission's 14 members will sign the report."
Meanwhile, enviros are scrambling to save the state parks, Paul Rogers reports. "With the
Schwarzenegger administration preparing to close up
to 100 state parks,
California's top environmental groups are quietly putting together a
ballot campaign they hope will turn the bad news into
a renaissance for
the state's long-struggling park system.
"The Nature Conservancy,
National Audubon Society, Trust for Public Land, Save-the-Redwoods
League and others have raised nearly $1 million and conducted months of
polling toward a November 2010 ballot measure that would increase
vehicle license fees by $15 a year to fund parks."
A similar proposal died in the budget process this
And from our Reality Shows Gone Bad files , "Nine women tricked into thinking they were reality TV show contestants and lured into an Istanbul villa were
rescued by Turkish military police after two months
confinement, a police spokesman said Thursday.
"Cameras in the villa filmed the women 24-hours a day, providing a live stream of images for Internet users who had paid to access
the footage, the spokesman said."