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Bills' supporters criticize vetoes

October 02, 2008|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got some flak Wednesday from groups including the state lobby corps, supporters of medical marijuana and aficionados of unpasteurized milk for what they said was a raw deal in his bill decisions.

His vetoes included:

* A bill that would have barred employers from discriminating against workers for use of marijuana for medical purposes. "I am concerned with interference in employment decisions as they relate to marijuana use," Schwarzenegger said. Supporters of the bill said it was needed to uphold provisions of California law that legalized marijuana for medical use. AB 2279 by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

* A measure that would have eased regulations on the sale of raw milk. "California's raw milk dairies have been operating successfully" under existing law, Schwarzenegger said. State Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), the author, called the veto "a blow to consumer choice." SB 201.

* A proposal that would have exempted special education students from the high school exit exam. The requirement "provides incentive for schools to teach every student the skills needed to demonstrate basic competencies," the governor said. State Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), the author, said: "Of all the governor's vetoes, this is the most ugly, vulgar and cold-hearted." SB 1446.

Among the items he signed:

* A measure for the 2010 ballot to allow public money to help pay for the campaigns of candidates for California secretary of state. The funds would come from a $350 annual fee on lobbyists, lobbying firms and their clients. Lobbyists, considering a court challenge to the measure, see it as an infringement on their free speech. AB 583 by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley).


Times staff writer Nancy Vogel contributed to this report.

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