Governor's Agenda Sidelined?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 17, 2007

Healthcare reform, water storage, and changing the way the state’s political map is drawn are all on Governor Schwarzenegger’s hefty “to do list” this year, but time’s running out.  The legislative session ends September 14th.  Recently the Governor criticized Senate Republicans for holding up the budget….and indicated they might be doing it because they don’t like his healthcare reform plan:

“So it’s in their interest to go and to drag this out into august 20th and beyond so that we will not have enough time to actually get into healthcare reform.”

Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman’s response to that:

 “That’s just not true.”

Ackerman says the budget struggle isn’t related to other potential legislation.  He says G-O-P Senators do want to move on to other policy changes – after they’re satisfied with the budget: 

 “Our most important thing right now is getting the budget done, but there’s a lot of other issues including healthcare and water that we definitely want to work on.”

Tony Quinn is co-editor of the California Target Book – a nonpartisan analysis of congressional and legislative elections.   He says despite the short time-frame, chances for healthcare reform are still good:

“The Governor has no reason now to concern himself with how the republicans feel.  He now has pretty well split the sheet with them so to say and I think it would be easier for him to work a deal out on healthcare with the Democratic leadership alone.”

Governor Schwarzenegger has pledged he will fight to make healthcare reform happen, despite the budget impasse.  Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has said he won’t take up any other legislation until after there’s a budget.