New in CW 08.17.06
|Schwarzenegger, Núñez square off over transportation commission|
An unexpected partisan battle erupted this week over whether or not a deal was struck between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez to place two new legislative appointees on the influential California Transportation Commission (CTC).
The debate devolved into a he-said, she-said spat on the Assembly floor Tuesday as the floor manager for the bill, Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, said the legislation was part of the bond deal negotiated between Schwarzenegger and Núñez, while former Assembly Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said it was not part of any deal he knew about.
Núñez insisted there was a deal, while the governor's office said that there wasn't.
Mental-health fund rakes in unexpected $890 million
Mental-health services in California are poised to receive an unexpected windfall--on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars--as a new fund dedicated to serving the mentally ill is flush with cash, raising $890 million above estimates in the last two years.
The new money, which is a whooping 57 percent above original projections, comes from Proposition 63, approved by voters in 2004. The measure levied a 1 percent tax hike for those making more than $1 million in order to expand services for mentally ill seniors, children and homeless.