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SchwarzeneggerSign.JPGWith his actions on the final flurry of budget-related bills, Arnold Schwarzenegger goes down in political history as the modern governor most likely to veto legislation.

Peter Detwiler, chief consultant to the Senate Local Government Committee, has compiled statistics on legislation dating back to Ronald Reagan's first year as governor in 1967 and updates them annually.

This year - Schwarzenegger's last as governor - he rejected 28.77 percent of the 1,029 regular session bills that reached his desk. He set the record for vetoes in 2008 by rejecting 35.17 percent of bills passed by the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger has the three highest veto percentages of any recent governor while one of the candidates to succeed him, Democrat Jerry Brown has the three lowest veto ratios, including his last year as governor in 1982, when he rejected just 1.79 percent of bills.

Detwiler's data also prove that over the years, the Legislature's output, in terms of the number of bills passed, has declined sharply.

During the Reagan, Brown and George Deukmejian governorships, the Legislature routinely passed 1,500 to 2,000 bills each year, topped in 1990 at 2,143.Since then, output has dropped steadily, hitting bottom at 893 last year before rising a bit to 1,029 this year. But with Schwarzenegger's vetoes, only 733 became law, the second lowest total in modern history.

PHOTO: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, with Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, is shown during a ceremonial bill signing, Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, in Los Angeles.


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