Protesters Claim Governor's Budget Line-Item Vetoes Are Illegal

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent line-item vetoes to the state budget could be challenged in the courts. 

Some groups that provide state services may file lawsuits because they say the governor illegally made additional cuts to health and welfare programs.

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
(Sound of Protesters Chanting)  "Budget Families Don't Give Up..." 
About a dozen people rallied outside the capitol. 

They’re pleased the legislative counsel said the governor’s line-item vetoes violated the state constitution. 

Democratic Assemblymember John Perez of Los Angeles joined the rally. He says Governor Schwarzenegger acted illegally last month when he vetoed spending that lawmakers had approved in an earlier version of the budget...
“At a time when an appropriation is made the governor has the ability to veto or do a line-item veto. So, in February he could have made these reductions. But, for him to do it in July and go back in time to February is outside his constitutional authority...
But, H-D Palmer with the Department of Finance says the governor’s vetoes did not break the law...
“The governor’s authority under the constitution is clear. He may eliminate or reduce one or more items of appropriation while approving other portions of the bill...”
It’s not clear which groups may file a legal challenge. 

Meantime, Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass say lawmakers will try to reinstate some of the governor’s funding cuts within a few weeks.