To Sleep, Perchance to Drink, in Senate Session

The Senate will reconvene in special session on October 12, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, announced October 6.

The upper house could also meet October 13 and October 14 at the call of pro tem, Steinberg’s announcement said.

Special sessions are called for a purpose. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called one to consider the tax law changes recommended by the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, for example. The legislature had several special sessions over the past 18 months relating to the budget.

However, under the rules of a special session, bills with an urgency clause – those requiring a two-thirds vote for passage – can be considered, regardless of whether the topic meshes with that of the special session.

A number of urgency measures failed passage in the Senate on the final night of session, victims of an imbroglio between Republicans and Democrats.

Thirty-three urgency measures are pending in the Senate although 20 of them are Assembly bills that likely wouldn’t be voted on if the Assembly doesn’t not choose to return before the start of the next legislative session in January.

Among the Senate bills that could be considered is a measure, SB 131, allowing the San Francisco Symphony to accept monetary contributions and alcoholic beverages from makers of beer, wine and distilled spirits. A small portion of the symphony’s facility has a retail license to sell alcohol, which prevents them from accepting alcohol from manufacturers under California’s “tied house” laws.

Also available for consideration is SB 132, which would create a certification process for polysomnographic technologists, medical personnel who treat sleep and wake disorders.

Polysomnography is defined by the bill as the “treatment, management, diagnostic testing, research, control, education and care of patients with sleep and wake disorders.”

The state Respiratory Care Board estimates there more than 175 sleep laboratories in California of which 65 percent of the personnel are not licensed. The board intends to “crack down” on the practice of sleep medicine and so, the legitimate polysomnographic technologists want a state certification system.



  1. With a massive budget deficit looming, 700 bills to change the
    world seems a bit silly. I say, veto them all.

    Comment by M. Whitman — 10.07.2009 @ 10:01 am

  2. It’s about time Mr. Lucas started alluding to the Bard in this column. Makes it a classier joint, even if he does water the booze.

    The chances of getting anything done this time? Methinks Hamlet had better odds of success in marrying Ophelia and reconciling with his uncle.

    Comment by Missing the Point — 10.07.2009 @ 3:45 pm

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