Clock is Ticking for Governor to Act on Legislation

The California Legislature adjourned for 2009 on September 11. The governor has until October 11 — 30 days — to act on the 700-odd measures that were sent to him. 

As of the afternoon of October 2, with nine days left to deal with the bills before him, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has publicly announced the signing of three.

One, AB 37 3X, is a budget-related bill he signed on September 30.

On September 25, he journeyed to Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Base to sign a law creating an annual “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 30.

On September 22, in a Capitol ceremony, he signed AB 1422, a significant measure that allows 700,000 lower income children to retain state-provided health care.

As of the end of the day October 1, the GOP governor had internally dispensed with another 42 bills, sources said.

Combined, that’s roughly 6.5 percent of the legislation awaiting action within the next 10 days.

Last year, when the 30-day clock ran from the beginning of September to October 1, the budget was not signed until September 23.

Yet, on September 24 and September 25, 2008, Schwarzenegger acted on 36 bills, including a ban of text messaging while driving and a ban on investing in Sudan.

On September 26, 2008, he announced his actions on 77 bills. Part of the reason he acted so quickly is that the 30-day deadline was close and, his staff, had time to process the bills while the budget was in the last throes of negotiation.

By the end of September 2007, the GOP governor had publicly announced his actions on 47 bills and  announced his actions on another 56 prior to the final 10 days he had to act. 

A review of the governor’s webpage for September 2009 shows him congratulating Kohl’s on opening 30 new stores in California and issuing statements on the deaths of actor Patrick Swayze and GAP founder Don Fisher.

Schwarzenegger spent several days at the 2nd Annual Governor’s Global Climate Summit at the end of the month. Excerpts of his opening address were released to the press October 2. 

Earlier in September, he announced $34 Million in Recovery Act rural transit grants for 141 projects around the state, issued a proclamation celebrating Family Week and thanked the departing director of the governor’s San Diego office for his dedicated service. Several batches of appointments were also announced.

A spokesman for the GOP governor says he “continues to review the bills on his desk.”



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