Brown won't investigate Schwarzenegger's veto threat

Jerry Brown (D)

Alberto Torrico (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Friday he will not investigate Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's threat to veto legislation unless state legisaltors reach a water deal.

In a letter to lawmakers, Brown said the state's chief executive has the right to reject lawmakers' proposals.

"We believe that the doctrine of separation-of-powers counsels against our inquiring into the legality of Governor Schwarzenegger's veto threats," Brown wrote.

State Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, who is running for attorney general, urged Brown in a letter to investigate the governor's threats to veto some-700 pieces of legislation sitting on his desk.

"While politicians are certainly allowed to express their disagreements in any way they find productive, they are not allowed to refuse to perform their sworn duties in order to force the Legislature to accept policy positions," Torrico wrote to Brown. "And public officials are specifically prohibited from the kind of direct 'horse trading' in which a government official agrees to take, or not take, a certain action in exchange for a specific vote."

The governor has until Sunday to act on the bills, which range from protections against predatory lending to veterans' benefits to funding for schools. State law says the governor has 30 days to act on bills after the legislative session's end.

For months, state lawmakers and the governor have been working toward a deal over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a large bond sale that could be used to bankroll new reservoirs and canals.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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