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Lt. Governor Confirmation Hearings Start Soon

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 29, 2010
Confirmation hearings start in the state senate this/next week (Wed. 2/3) for Lieutenant Governor nominee Abel Maldonado.  

The hearings for the Republican state senator get underway just as lawmakers step up negotiations on another politically charged issue—the state budget. 
Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg expects the confirmation hearings will be “vigorous.” 

And, he says Senator Maldonado, a Central Coast farmer, deserves a balanced and thorough vetting process... 
Steinberg:    “He is a colleague who I respect. We haven’t always agreed on various policy issues but he’s been a good colleague and I’m not going to predict the outcome of the hearing but I know we go into with an absolute commitment that its fair...”
Governor Schwarzenegger nominated Maldonado to replace Democrat John Garamendi who was elected to Congress.  

Maldonado has crossed party lines with the blessing of the governor to make some key votes. 

Last year, he supported the state budget that included billions of dollars in tax increases.  

And as budget negotiations hit full speed again, some political observers say the situation could affect Maldonado’s confirmation. 

But, Maldonado downplays the notion that his political future is tied to the state’s financial challenges...
Maldonado: “We’re not co-mingling confirmation with budget vote. If it’s a good budget for California its going to have enough votes to get out of the house. And, if it’s a bad budget for California I’m gonna vote no...”
Governor Schwarzenegger called lawmakers into a special session to address a mult-billion dollar deficit. 

The deadline for them to act on the budget coincides with the deadline for them to act on Maldonado. 

It’s February 22nd.     If lawmakers fail to act by then Maldonado will automatically become Lieutenant Governor. 
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