Schwarzenegger Addresses Reimportation Legislation in Radio Interview
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Friday in an interview with a Sacramento radio station "singled out" legislation that would direct the state to consider reimporting lower-cost, U.S. made prescription drugs from Canada, the Contra Costa Times reports. Schwarzenegger last month "strongly signaled" that he would veto the bills and offered lawmakers "an 11th hour compromise," according to the Times.
"I'm trying to do good things for the people, but [legislators] try to jam me so they can go back and say to their district: 'Look what this Republican governor did' so they can go and get their votes in November," Schwarzenegger said.
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), who sponsored one of the reimportation bills (SB 1149), said the measures will force Schwarzenegger to choose between drug companies and state residents seeking lower-cost medications, the Times reports. "Our job is not to cozy up to pharmaceutical companies but to help Californians," Ortiz said.
Dan Reeves -- chief of staff to Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer (D-Glendale), who sponsored another of the reimportation bills (AB 1957) -- said, "Don't say we're being unfair and mean to [Schwarzenegger] when we're standing up for what we believe in." Reeves added, "If he wants to be the people's governor he should just sign them" (Nissenbaum, Contra Costa Times, 9/18).