The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 5, 2010
Blog back: Schwarzenegger, Steinberg and special session rules

Editor's note: This post was corrected to reflect that the extraordinary session vote chronology was for SBX8 29, not AB 790.

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

April 1 Latest on state worker pay bill; post mortem on Steinberg's bill

Why would the governor veto the bill?

The same answer applies whether you're talking about AB 790 or SBX8 29: The governor is highly unlikely to support legislation that he sees as weakening his authority to manage the state's business or, as his office often says, "shields" state workers from the economic realities confronting "every family and business in California."

We would also note that public officeholders rarely support legislation that diminishes their power.

Did GAS purposely act (veto) on the bill after the extraordinary session concluded, which therefore, took out the override vote out of the picture? How much time did GAS have to act/non-act on this bill when the legislature was still in the extraordinary session? Hey Ortiz, can you get an answer for this question?

Click the following link to read the answer.

Schwarzenegger didn't have to wait.

Here's the chronology: The Senate took its final AB 790 SBX8 29 vote on Mar. 8. After the bill was enrolled (proofread and certified), it went to the Schwarzenegger's desk on Mar. 12 at 1 p.m. The extraordinary session ended Mar. 11.

Schwarzenegger could have immediately vetoed the measure instead of waiting until the end of the 12-day deadline. We didn't know the rule at the time we reported the story, but there was never a chance of an override.

While the governor took the usual criticism from blog users, some of the harshest remarks were directed at the Legislature and the bill's author, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

How conveeeeeeeeenient. So this ended up being exactly what it looked like- pure theater designed only to give the impression of doing something while actually doing nothing. Thanks Darrell. I'm sure the governor will be withdrawing his furlough order any second now...

Seems like a well orchestrated futile publicity stunt-just like it did from the get go. No wonder these worthless legislators voted for it.

What a bunch of self serving crooks, openly advertising their stupidity hoping that someone will mistake it for brains and good will. See you all at the next election.

I hate to say I told you so....but I told you so. I have always maintained that Darrell Steinberg's furlough bill was nothing more than window dressing. I also predicted that when Ahnold vetoed the bill, Steinberg would not bother to override the veto. I was right. As a progressive the Dems are equally disgusting as the Repubs. Worse so, because they have turned their backs on the principles they supposedly espouse but do not practice. Then again, what do you expect with term limits? Again - to the CA Democratic Party, do not call me and ask for money, to phone bank, precinct walk or to participate in any other political activities this mid-term election. I won't be answering my phone.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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