Schwarzenegger Says He Will Back Redistricting Ballot Initiative
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) new proposal for transferring the Legislature's redistricting authority to citizens has raised speculation that the governor seeks to pressure Democratic lawmakers to reach a deal with him on health care reform and a water bond, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4).
On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) canceled an Assembly vote scheduled for this week on his health care reform plan (ABX1 1) because a compromise had not been reached with Schwarzenegger.
Núñez said that addressing recent problems with subprime mortgage loans has replaced health care reform as the top priority in the Legislature (California Healthline, 12/3).
On Monday, the governor called for a redistricting measure on the November 2008 ballot that would give an independent citizens commission the authority to draw legislative districts. Similar ballot initiatives have failed six times since 1982.
While Schwarzenegger's announcement could have been viewed as a motive for securing a compromise with Democrats on health care reform, the governor has maintained since his 2003 election campaign that the Legislature should not hold redistricting authority, according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4).