Judging from his radio remarks Saturday, Gov. George Deukmejian wants Californians to believe that his plan to straighten out the toxic waste mess is the the only plan in Sacramento. As we heard it, he wanted to bring some coordination to the arms of government that protect the air and water from toxic hazards and the Democrats just wanted to play politics. If that were true, he would have had no plan to veto over the weekend. And what he vetoed was a toxic-waste bill that would have done everything he wanted and done it better.
Deukmejian said he would veto the bill, sponsored by Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles), and he did. He said he would blame the Democrats, and he has. But he also said he wanted to make California a safer place to live by reorganizing the waste management functions of government so lines of authority--and responsibility--would be clearer. The Democrats wrote such a bill and they deserve credit, not blame.
The governor had many opportunities to write a good bill of his own. But his first plan, submitted last year, was sent back because it was full of confusing technical mistakes. The second plan was better and might have passed had not Assemblyman Louis J. Papan (D-Millbrae) blocked it because the governor had earlier vetoed an unrelated bill sponsored by Papan.