As we write, there are more than 700 bills stacked on the governor’s desk, including nearly a dozen authored by our two local legislators, Sen. Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee.
While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office won’t confirm it, it’s widely assumed that the governor is holding his pen hostage to force the Legislature to agree on upgrades to the state’s water system.
We find that strategy deeply troubling.
Certainly, action is needed to resolve a water crisis that is wreaking havoc on the Central Valley and threatening the viability of the state’s agricultural industry. But we’d rather see legislative leaders get it right than react in haste to an artificial deadline. And while politicking may be a necessary part of politics, this behavior isn’t statesmanship. It’s bullying.
We aren’t calling on the governor to immediately sign each one of these 700 bills. We do, however, want to single out a few excellent bills sponsored by our local legislators, including two that pertain particularly to the Central Coast.
We urge the governor to sign the following:
Assembly Bill 42 (Blakeslee): Diablo Canyon Seismic Studies Directs Pacific Gas & Electric Co., in partnership with the Energy Commission, California Geologic Survey and the Seismic Safety Commission, to perform a study of the fault line near Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant that was discovered in November 2008. Following the study, the California Energy Commission will be required to make recommendations for retrofits to prevent any danger at the nuclear power plant.
Our take: Blakeslee was absolutely correct last year when he described the discovery of the hitherto unknown fault as no cause for panic — but cause for concern. A study may turn up nothing, but it would be unconscionable to ignore the fault and discover too late that it poses a danger.
Assembly Bill 134 (Blakeslee): Off-Highway Vehicle Safety gives law officers the authority to issue citations to adults who allow children younger than 14 to operate off-highway vehicles — even though the kids can’t reach the controls.
Our take: This is a no-brainer. We’re shocked this regulation isn’t already on the books.
Senate Bill 741 (Maldonado): Security Services closes a loophole in earlier legislation that required private security guards to register with the state and to successfully complete a training course. This legislation would authorize issuance of administrative citations to those who fail to comply.
Our take: This is another open-and-shut case. What good does it do to require registration and training if there’s no method of enforcing the requirements?
Schwarzenegger has until midnight Sunday to sign or veto these bills, along with the hundreds of others sitting in limbo. If he does nothing, the bills automatically become law. The governor should stop posturing, take out his pen and give these bills the stamp of validity that his signature conveys.