Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th
in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly
Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State
and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican
Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna
Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]
at the Capitol
All of a sudden the flood has slowed to a trickle...
[John Campbell] 1/20/04
Quiet: The car tax has been reduced. The illegal alien
drivers' license bill has been repealed. The Governor by executive
order has restored money to local governments, and has suspended
the operation of many prior orders that spend money. And the
Governor has released his constitutionally required January budget
proposal for the '04-'05 fiscal year.
Since the recall qualified for the ballot in July, there has
been a near constant stream of activity and deadlines going on
in state government and politics. But this week has been amazingly
Normally after a budget proposal, you would expect the party
not occupying the Governor's office to be making their points
about the budget. But Democrats are split with some insisting
on tax increases and other saying they will not insist on tax
increases. They really haven't found anyplace to poke a lot of
holes in the Governor's budget yet. So they are quiet. Bills
for 2004 don't have to be introduced until late February. So
there are few new bills.
The Governor's office now has a chance to settle down to the
regular process of governing and of further delivering on the
Governor's campaign promises. So they are quietly working.
In any other year, this would not be unusual. But quiet has
not been the norm in Sacramento for over a year.
next big deadline is the Governor's imposed March 1st deadline
for the legislature to deliver him a bill
with real, substantive repair of the broken workers' comp system.
If they don't, he will qualify an initiative for the November
2004 ballot and let the people fix it. The early signs for doing
the job by March 1st do not look good. A bill was scheduled to
be heard yesterday in insurance committee (on which I serve)
which contains a minor "cleanup" to legislation passed
in 2003. The "cleanup" (AB4X 3) was proposed by the
Democratic Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and clarifies
the tightening of appropriate medical treatment for injuries.
But the trial lawyers and some labor unions do not like it and
so the Democrats pulled the bill from the file.
If the Democrats on the committee cannot pass a Democrat sponsored
very minor cleanup and improvement to the current system without
allowing the trial lawyers and unions what they want, why should
we have hope that they will pass major system repairs over the
objections of those same groups? If I had to bet, I would have
to wager that you will be seeing an initiative in November. But
we'll see if the approach of March 1st brings some rethought
of the matter.