Yesterday, I asked who would step up and sue the Governor? Well today, CapAlert has a juicy little nugget in the issue of whether the line item vetoes were legal: Sen. Darrell Steinberg is planning on suing the Governor.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is expected to announce at 1 p.m. today that he is suing the governor over his line-item veto cuts to the budget revision package. Though the news is still (officially) unconfirmed, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Aaron McLear has already put out a response, saying the governor’s constitutional authority to veto appropriations is “unquestioned and will be upheld by the courts.”
For a lot of reasons, this makes sense. Beyond the painful cuts that these “blue pencil” marks made on the state, there is a question of checks and balances at issue here. If the legislature simply accepts these cuts, they are basically accepting this as a precedent. By challenging the vetoes, the Legislature puts their foot down and says that they believe these cuts were not valid under the Constitution.
The LA Times has more from Steinberg’s press conference today:
Steinberg said he will file the lawsuit as an individual in San Francisco County Superior Court early next week and will tap political funds to pay for the legal challenge.
“We elected a governor, not an emperor,” Steinberg said at a Capitol news conference. “In making these line-item vetoes the governor forced punishing cuts on children, the disabled and patients that he couldn’t win fairly at the bargaining table. And in doing so, he overstepped his constitutional authority.”