SACRAMENTO -- Facing a Tuesday night deadline, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continued to work his way through a stack of legislation on his desk Sunday, vetoing twice as many measures as he signed.
The governor vetoed 131 bills Sunday, bringing his total for 2008 to 278. With 341 bills remaining to be dealt with, Schwarzenegger has a good chance of surpassing the 311 vetoes he handed out in 2004.
The governor is putting much of the blame for his nay-saying on the Legislature's nearly three-month delay in getting a budget passed. Schwarzenegger signed only a single bill during that time and put the heat on the lawmakers by threatening to veto every bill passed by the Legislature.
But since he approved the state budget on Sept. 23, the governor has been forced to scramble to clear up the logjam of bills, because any he doesn't veto by Tuesday will automatically become law without his signature.
The looming deadline has forced Schwarzenegger to use boilerplate veto language on dozens of the rejected bills, with the governor saying only that given the historic delay in passing this year's budget, "I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California. This bill does not meet that standard."
A half-dozen bills the governor vetoed Sunday would have added a variety of new subjects to the state Board of Education's academic content standards. AB1863, by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Ca ada Flintridge Los Angeles County, would have required social studies courses to recognize the role of Italian Americans in state and national history.
Other bills would have added information about Native American tribal organizations, the role of Filipinos in World War II, the actions of Southeast Asians in the Vietnam conflict, financial literacy and the Mendez vs. Westminster desegregation case as required parts of school curriculum.
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said he has consistently opposed attempts to include specific events in the areas of instructions.
The 61 bills Schwarzenegger signed Sunday included:
AB2737, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, which allows a court to order blood to be withdrawn involuntarily from anyone arrested who has exposed police officers, firefighters or emergencymedical personnel to blood or bodily fluids.
AB2973, by Assemblywoman Nell Soto, D-Pomona Los Angeles County, which makes it a misdemeanor to sell any type of stun gun or "less lethal weapon" to anyone under 18.
AB3010, by Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, which allows tobacco products to be banned at state mental hospitals.