Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
“It is not going to happen” was the response from State Senate Pro Tempore Darrel Steinberg to a request by State Senator Alex Padilla to schedule a vote in the State Senate on SB 659. The bill would allow more time for cities to work with legislators to correct the mess created by the dissolution of redevelopment in our State, California’s only economic development tool. Without passing SB 659, redevelopment is dissolved as of Feb.1, the State and cities will be left with a legal and administrative nightmare, and there will be no economic development tool to improve our economy and create new jobs.
The fact that the State Senate Pro Tempore can block a vote of a fellow Democrat and State Senator is sinister, anti-democratic, and it does not allow the citizens of California to find out how their respective state senators would vote on this important public policy bill. Who is he to decide what the Legislature votes on or doesn’t vote SB 659? If there were insufficient votes in the State Senate to pass the bill, as Senator Steinberg asserts, then let’s have a vote and find out. I would not take his word on it. On important public policy matters like redevelopment, economic development, and job creation, legislators should vote bills up or down, not play games in a non-transparent way.
Can we ever trust State Senate Pro Tempore Steinberg or legislators of a like mind that they will be honest and transparent with the voters of our State on matters of important policy after this sham legislative maneuver? “It is not going to happen.” The same old political games like this one will result in the citizens of the State having the same mistrust of State government as they have always had. Shame on you, State Senator Steinberg!
David M. Jinkens
Jan. 30, 2012