It's That Time of Year-- Signatures and Vetoes

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 1, 2007

They come in the dead of night to deliver the veto messages…. Well, not really but it sure seems that way to some lawmakers—like Democratic Assemblyman Dave Jones.  

 “You know my staff or I will stick our head out the door and look around and there’s not typically anyone there they’ve moved on so it does have a certain angel of death like aspect to it, no question.” 

The Governor’s spokeswoman Sabrina Lockhart says that’s not the intention—she says it’s a matter of timing. After the Governor signs or vetoes legislation lawmakers are told immediately.    

  “If the bill is signed then the author receives a phone call and we deliver written notification if that bill is vetoed…”
What’s dropped off—or in some cases slipped under the door after hours is the Governor’s veto message. It lays out his reasons for the rejection.  Assemblyman Jones explains what happens next: 

“Well, there’s a lot of tears, and gnashing of teeth and renting of hair.” 

But Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno says acceptance comes eventually. He’s been on the receiving end of a few vetoes—most notably his attempts to push for same sex marriage in California:  

“There can be some fury attached with the initial recognition of a veto, but again it’s our job to just keep on trying where we don’t initially succeed.” 

But many lawmakers are holding out hope for the bills still sitting on the Governor’s desk.  That means many didn’t want to take any chances and declined to be interviewed for this story.  As one staffer put it— it’s a rather vulnerable time.   It lasts until October 14th-- the Governor’s deadline to take action on legislation.