"It's like greenhouse gases," said William Hauck, president of the California Business Roundtable, referring to legislation that Schwarzenegger signed to curb global-warming emissions. "Schwarzenegger sees the federal government as not stepping in and doing anything productive. He wants to prove it's doable in a nation-state and thereby leave a constructive legacy as governor."
To achieve this legacy, Schwarzenegger will have to stand up to the legislative wing of his party, far more conservative than he is on most issues. Many Republican state legislators oppose extending health coverage to the children of undocumented immigrants. California's archaic legislative rule requiring two-thirds approval for bills with a financial impact allows the minority Republicans to be spoilers, if they want to be.
Schwarzenegger also will have to placate the Democratic majority, with whom he worked well in 2006. Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) has his own healthcare bill and has opposed forcing individuals to buy health insurance.
Republican Gov. Warren, at the height of his prestige in 1945, was so popular that he would a year later win both the Republican and Democratic nominations for governor. But when he offered a plan that would have provided state-subsidized healthcare and up to 21 days of hospitalization for about two-thirds of Californians, he was treated as a crackpot, and his bill was buried in committee.