Group Warns Against Holding Session While Veto Threat Exists
Consumer advocates, who have argued that there should be no special legislative session to bail out Edison, warned Governor Davis not to call his proposed Special Session while he still has bills to sign or veto, in a letter sent today. It has been reported that the Governor will call lawmakers back to the Capitol for a third extraordinary session on October 2nd. During the first two weeks of October, however, the Governor will be reviewing and signing or vetoing legislation passed by the Assembly and Senate. Consumer advocates with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) are concerned that Governor Davis will threaten lawmakers with the veto of other important bills if they are not supportive of his bailout plan.
“If you insist on a special session, it is incumbent upon you to complete your bill signing duties prior to the new session in order to make it absolutely clear that lawmakers will not be subject to executive reprisal if they do not support your bailout plan,” FTCR wrote in the letter to Davis.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights considers the special session unnecessary because lawmakers debated a variety of options for an Edison bailout but decided not to pass a bailout bill. The first bailout proposal (AB 18x) was introduced by Speaker Hertzberg in late January and at least five additional versions were considered before the Senate finally decided not to support a bailout plan on the final day of the 2001 legislative session.
“To demand that lawmakers come back and vote on an already rejected proposal is a waste of taxpayer money and ignores the checks and balances of our system. Democracy has already worked to protect the public from an unwarranted bailout of Edison,” said Heller.
Bailout Watchdogs Return to Sacramento
During the final weeks of the legislative session, dozens of volunteer, citizen lobbyists served as “Bailout Watchdogs” to encourage lawmakers to stand with the public and against the bailout. FTCR operated this grassroots effort out of the “Bailout Watchdog War Room” in a Sacramento hotel. The group said that the citizen effort against the bailout will continue throughout the special session.