California Gov. Jerry Brown
Political anxiety is growing, as lawmakers and interest groups await the fate of a mountain of bills dumped on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk in the closing days of the legislative session this month.
Brown stoked that anxiety last week when he said of the legislature, "They've given me 600 bills and there's not 600 problems that we need those solutions for."
In fact, his first veto was a measure that Democratic lawmakers had passed to give them added say over additional spending cuts in the recently-approved state budget. Brown also recently vetoed a bill that would've given the United Farm Workers more power to unionize workers.
In other words, Brown is not behaving as a conventional Democratic governor. No surprise there. That means lawmakers and interest groups are gearing up public relations efforts to convince the governor not to sink their legislation.
It's not just about major pieces of legislation that you may have heard or read about.
Today, for example, Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) summoned the Consumer Federation of California, the California Alliance of Retired Persons, and other groups to the Capitol to express support for a bill that would prevent stores from selling out-of-date baby formula and medications, like aspirin.
"The governor can make sure Californians can rely on these products to protect their health," Pan said.
And then there are the big, fiercely-fought bills. Measures to fast-track environmental review of a new NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles, ban open carrying of unloaded guns, and allow public student aid for undocumented immigrants.
Brown has until October 9 to decide whether this mountain of legislation lives or dies. That means a lot of jockeying to get his attention between now and then.