Kudos to the Democratic leadership of the Legislature and their hard bargaining on AB 32, which is now being touted as a model for the nation in reducing greenhouse gases, which are a primary cause of global warming. I learned yesterday, from a source who told me that the Governor had been given a choice to accept or decline the bill that the authors of the bill had agreed upon or they would give him the bill that the legislators had agreed upon. In short, the Governor faced the choice of either getting on the bandwagon or vetoing the bill. I was given this information on the condition that I not use it. I confirmed it with one additional source, but wanted another confirmation before putting it in an article.
The New York Times has now run an article on page 1 with the following, that shows who blinked when the parties went eyeball to eyeball:
The deal on Wednesday on the emissions legislation nearly foundered at least three times in the past week as Mr. Schwarzenegger’s negotiators reached seeming impasses with the Legislature over important issues: whether the bill would require the creation of market mechanisms like emissions credits to help industries meet the new standards; how broad to make exemptions during emergencies like the state’s electricity crisis six years ago, and how to administer and enforce the law.
In the end, after three weeks filled with late-night sessions, according to legislative staffers who were not authorized to speak for attribution, Mr. Núñez met with Mr. Schwarzenegger on Wednesday morning and said that the Assembly and the Senate had agreed on final language and intended to enact the legislation with or without his consent.
That left the governor to decide whether the final language fell so far short of his wishes that he could take the political risk during an election year of vetoing a signature piece of environmental legislation whose aims he had supported.
Especially because this is an election year, now is the time to get as much good public policies nailed down as we can. This is leadership from the legislature at its best, even if the Governor gets his photo op with them. As President John F. Kennedy said in his inauguration, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” Well done.