The County Voice

Governor’s Blue Pencil Vetoes were Legal, says Court

Governor Schwarzenegger was within his executive authority when he vetoed millions of dollars from a budget agreement (ABX4 1) last July, says a state appellate court.

A coalition of social services advocates, unions, and Senate Speaker pro Tem Darrell Steinberg had sued the Governor over seven of the surprise vetoes – which included reductions in funding for Child Welfare Services, the Office of AIDS, and the Healthy Families Program – totaling $288 million.

The court, in a strongly worded opinion (Read it here: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center v. Schwarzenegger) rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments, with justice P.J. Cline writing: “For one thing, treating the veto as an increase in the reduction rather than as a decrease in the appropriation is as arbitrary as describing a glass of water as half full rather than half empty.”

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