from Kevin Pedrotti, Legislative Advocate, Golden State Builders Exchanges
The Real Games Begin
The General election gun went off even before all the Primary votes were counted. With the blow-out in the Republican gubernatorial primary and really no contest on the democratic side, the victory speeches and start of the fall campaign began before 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Voter turn– out was one of the lowest recorded and billionaire Republican Meg Whitman spent $76.00 per vote to be the nominee. On the other hand, Jerry Brown was able to hoard his funds and get ready for the summer/fall slugfest spending only $.50 per vote. Steve Poizner, who Whitman defeated, spent $63.00 per vote.
The biggest shocker of the night with respect to state-wide offices was Assemblyman Mike Villines coming in second in the Republican primary to an opponent that probably spent less than $3000.00. Villines was so confident with victory that he had held back funds for the General election and had even sent a fundraising invitation for an event featuring the Governor later this month. Trailing by 11,000 votes, Villines has yet to concede, waiting for the outcome of absentee ballots that number in the 10’s of thousands. Pundits believe Villines ballot designation of businessman/ state assemblyman hurt since the legislature has an approval rating in the teens and few know down ticket candidates. The happiest person with this race is Assemblyman Dave Jones who won the Democratic primary.
With term-limits and moves to other offices, next year will see around 40 new members of the legislature. Time to get to know some new folks.
Budget Conference Committee
The ten member budget conference committee continues to work through the state budget. The easy things get closed out and hard items remain opened. While the work of the conference committee may end this month, no one is expecting an early approval of the state budget.
Second House Deliberations Begin
The legislative grind is set to begin again next week as each house begins consideration of the other house’s bills. Not everything made it through either Appropriations Committee or the floor deadline for same house bills. We have narrowed the GSBE tracking list by almost half removing those bills that have died since the start of session.