Court: Schwarzenegger right to use line-item veto
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – An appeals court ruled Tuesday that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was acting within his authority when he made additional cuts to California’s budget last year.
The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that the Republican governor had the right to use his line-item veto to cut an additional $489 million from last year’s budget.
The lawsuit was brought about by the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, with Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg acting as an intervener. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit group argued its programs would be hurt by further reductions.
St. John’s and Steinberg argued that the governor overstepped his veto authority after the Legislature already approved budget cuts. The Legislature acts as the appropriating body.
But the court found the governor has the authority to reduce or eliminate budget appropriations.
“I am deeply concerned about the unprecedented amount of power today’s ruling gives to this and future governors,” Steinberg said in a statement.
Steinberg said the fight remains unresolved. He filed a separate lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court last year challenging Schwarzenegger on the deeper cuts to social programs such as child welfare, health care for the poor and AIDS prevention.
No decision has been made in that case.