Senate Democrats today blocked an effort by Senator Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) and his Republican colleagues to override Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of SB 375, which would have authorized local governments to temporarily take over and maintain state parks facing closure as a result of state budget cuts. Had the veto override effort passed, it would have been the first successful veto override in 30 years. The last veto override occurred when Brown was in his second term as Governor.
“While the Governor is marching all over the state telling taxpayers they should pay $31 billion more in taxes, he’s inexplicably vetoing common sense bills that save the state money,” said Senator Blakeslee. “Today was about starting the conversation about how to deal with a Governor whose actions are increasingly capricious and hard to understand.”
SB 375 passed unanimously out of the Senate (35-0) on September 9, 2011. The bill also received bi-partisan support when it passed out of the Assembly on a 76-1 vote that same day, but was later vetoed by the governor. A two-thirds vote is required by both legislative houses to override a gubernatorial veto. Despite their unanimous support for the bill just a few months ago, Senate Democrats today killed the override effort on a 13-22 party line vote.
Blakeslee’s override effort could pave the way for a more assertive Legislature to reconsider several important policy matters where the Legislature and the Governor are facing profound differences of opinion.
The motion to override Governor Brown’s veto was blocked this morning shortly after the passage of another state parks funding bill that was authored by a Democratic Senator to provide $1,000 of funding to parks. That bill, SB825, passed the Senate today on a vote of 23-9, after receiving bi-partisan support.