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After Defeat, Hayden Plans Compromise Legislation


SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) said Friday he will resurrect the San Fernando Valley secession bill next week by adding its original provisions, along with options such as a citywide vote, to another measure wending its way through the Legislature.

The secession bill was narrowly defeated in the state Senate on Thursday.

Hayden conceded that his odds of success are slim but said he is committed to fighting for a compromise and will return to Sacramento to work on it next week after the Democratic Party convention in Chicago.

"The issues of city governance raised by the Valley secession bill should not end after so much time and energy have been expended," Hayden said.

In addition to philosophical differences and election-year politics, time is not on Hayden's side. There is only one week left in the legislative session.

Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) said he would not interfere with the compromise effort and, indeed, had offered proponents and opponents of the bill a chance to resolve their differences.

Along with proposing a citywide vote and rescinding the City Council's veto power over secession, Hayden has added, as he put it, "everything but the kitchen sink" to place all the issues on the table.

Lockyer's proposal for a commission to study detachment and incorporation law as well as the ramifications of dividing Los Angeles will be included. So will Hayden's own suggestions to reform the agency that currently rules on detachments and plans for incentives for neighborhood-based reforms.

The original bill's author, Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills), has not decided on her next move, but she has already rejected Lockyer's commission plan as being, in effect, a roundabout way of killing the bill. She said the expenditure of $1.2 million in state funds for the study would not be well-received by her Assembly colleagues.

Boland has told other legislators that she would consent to a citywide vote, the most fundamental point of contention between the supporters and opponents of the bill.

Boland was critical of Hayden's plan, saying he should have lobbied for her bill instead.

"He would have shown better leadership if he would have tried to get the two more votes" needed to pass the bill, Boland said.

The Boland bill is expected to be voted on again by the Senate, although such votes to reconsider typically fail unless the bill is amended to suit its opponents.

As for Lockyer, Boland said she remains willing to listen to his ideas.

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