FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2009
‘Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger’ Constitutional Lawsuit to be Filed Next Week
SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) today announced that he will file a lawsuit against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger early next week that contends the Governor violated his constitutional authority in making line item vetoes to portions of the Legislature’s budget revision bill in July.
The suit will be called: “Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger.”
“We elected a governor, not an emperor,” Steinberg said. “In making these line item vetoes the Governor forced punishing cuts on children, the disabled and patients that he couldn’t win fairly at the bargaining table. And in doing so, he overstepped his constitutional authority.”
On Wednesday, the non-partisan 93-year-old Legislative Counsel Bureau issued an opinion that made clear that the Governor had no right to unilaterally undo the budget agreement, causing further harm to people and violating his constitutional authority and the checks and balances contained in our constitution.
In its opinion, the Legislative Counsel Bureau said that a Governor can only line item veto “appropriations,” and what the Legislature sent him on July 24th were not “appropriations” – they were revised reductions in existing, previously enacted appropriations that we made in February.
See the opinion here:
Steinberg said he will use his campaign funds to pay for the lawsuit, which will be filed in San Francisco Superior Court. While the lawsuit will address the Governor’s constitutional authority, the breadth of the suit will be determined by Steinberg’s attorneys and other plaintiffs may be added.