Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened to veto all of the bills sitting on his desk, prompting Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento and Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, to pull back more than 70 bills.
Currently, there are 30 Assembly bills and 43 Senate bills on the governor's desk.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Matt David said that the governor wants to ensure the Legislature is progressing on issues including water, prisons and renewable energy before deciding on other legislative matters.
Last year, the governor vetoed dozens of bills with an identical veto message, indicating last summer's prolonged budget stand-off left the governor without ample time to review the hundreds of bills on his desk. Lawmakers reacted angrily to the vetoes.
In an email to Assembly staff,Karen Bass's chief of staff Nolice Edwards wrote, "The governor’s office has asked the Assembly and the Senate to pull back from his desk all of the bills that require his action either today or tomorrow. The stated reason for their request was that the governor didn’t want to act on these bills while other priorities of his have not been approved. To help you avoid an automatic rubber stamp veto of these bills, the Speaker will be asking the Assembly to withdraw them from the Governor’s Desk today. These bills will be resent to the Governor later this week."
When a bill reaches the governor's desk, he has 12 days to either sign or veto the bill. If the governor does not act on a bill within the 12-day window, the measure automatically becomes law.
The governor has 30 days to act on bills that reach his desk after August 31, to give him more time to deal with the end-of-session crunch.
Legislative sources say the governor threatened to veto all of the bills on his desk – 73 in all – unless they were recalled by the legislative houses. By recalling the bills to the respective desks, the 12-day timeline will reset when the bills are sent back to the governor.
The Senate and Assembly are both expected to withdraw all of the measures from the governor's desk, Capitol sources said.