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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

Quiet at the Capitol
All of a sudden the flood has slowed to a trickle...

[John Campbell] 1/20/04

Eerie 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 The illegal alien drivers' license bill has been repealed.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 quiet.

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.

Worker's Comp: The 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.



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