Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, January 20, 2006


Page 3


State Senate Passes Bill Extending Candidate Statement Deadline


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Urgency legislation that would postpone the deadline for judicial candidates in the June primary to turn in their candidate passed the state Senate yesterday.

Senators voted 33-0 to pass an amended version of AB 1129. The bill now goes to the Assembly for concurrence in the Senate amendment, and faces no visible opposition.

If the bill passes the Assembly and is signed by the governor, candidates for superior court seats around the state will have until March 15, five days after the filing deadline, to submit their 200-word statements for inclusion in the ballot pamphlet mailed to all voting households.

While the deadline for introducing new legislation has passed, CJA was able to get its proposal through the Senate because it was amended onto a dormant bill dealing with an unrelated issue.

Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach, is carrying the bill in the Senate.

The bill would be in effect only for this year.

In other legislative action, the Assembly passed a bill that would create a limited exception to the attorney-client privilege allowing a lawyer to disclose misconduct by a government official.

The bill passed the Assembly on a party-line vote of 44-31. The legislation, similar to bills previously vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and by his predecessor, Gray Davis, is sometimes referred to as the “Cindy Ossias bill” after the Department of Insurance attorney whose disclosure of allegedly illegal conduct within the department led to the resignation of then-Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.

In vetoing the previous bill, Schwarzenegger commended the supporters’ intentions, but said he did not want to undermine the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. Supporters said the bill would merely conform the language of the State Bar Act to that of a rule adopted by the state Supreme Court.

Debra Gravert, an aide to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Woodland Hills, told the MetNews she hoped the governor would “look[ ] at things a little differently than he did a year ago,” if the bill passes the Senate.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company