SAN FRANCISCO - California Treasurer Bill Lockyer is "downright angry" with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for two of his vetoes this year.
Lockyer expressed his displeasure in a letter to the governor that was obtained and posted by the Sacramento Bee.
Schwarzenegger roused Lockyer's ire by vetoing two bills to reform and regulate conduit bond issuance in California.
SB 1293 would have applied greater transparency requirements to joint powers agencies that serve as conduit issuers, through measures such as increased financial disclosure and stricter requirements for public notices of board meetings and agendas.
The other bill, SB 1221, was designed to level the playing field between the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, chaired by Lockyer, and joint powers agencies outside state government. It would do so in part by repealing what the treasurer described as "vague legislative intent language" imposing "burdensome" community benefit analysis requirements on CHFFA bond issues, which hospitals do not face when they borrow through other conduit issuers.
Schwarzenegger vetoed 415 of the 1187 bills that passed the Legislature this year. In part, the governor blamed the 12-week budget standoff that dragged into mid-September. Because of a blanket veto threat, lawmakers held off on sending hundreds of bills to the governor after they were passed until the budget was adopted Sept. 19. Normally, the governor has the entire month of September to consider legislation.
This year, he vetoed 136 of the bills with a boilerplate veto message that he felt they were not important enough to consider in the short time available.
One of those bills was SB 1293, the conduit issuer transparency bill, which was passed unanimously by both houses.
"I am not only disappointed but truly saddened by this negligent failure to apply good public policy judgment to a very significant problem," Lockyer wrote.
SB 1221 was not as popular as SB 1293, passing the Senate 24 to 13 and the Assembly 47 to 32.
Schwarzenegger gave that bill a specific veto message. "With interest rates rising and the capital markets in turmoil, it does not make sense to place more burdens on nonprofit health facilities seeking affordable financing," the governor wrote.
Lockyer described that message as "odd and mistaken," saying the bill would have actually reduced burdens on nonprofit hospitals.
"I am more than usually displeased and downright angry with what has become of two very important public policy reforms," Lockyer wrote. He added that he and his staff hope to speak with Schwarzenegger and his staff before the new legislative session begins in January to discuss the measures, which Lockyer plans to re-introduce.
California's constitution provides no avenue for the Legislature to override vetoes after it adjourns its two-year session, according to Peter Detwiler, staff director of the Senate Local Government Committee. And overrides are exceedingly rare at any time, he said - California's last successful veto override was in 1979.