Perata: No rift with Nunez over health care

perata.jpgState Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, had nothing nice to say about today’s San Francisco Chronicle editorial on health-care reform legislation (“It’s too bad that Nunez and Perata can’t get along, but it’s also time for them to put their personal issues aside.”) when asked about it before a news conference this morning in Oakland.

There is no rift between him and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, he insisted, and he has no problem with the legislation — he’s a cosponsor, he noted. But with Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger predicting a $14 billion budget shortfall, now’s not the time to hurry forward with a new potential encumbrance; if taxes don’t cover the new plan’s cost, the already-in-the-red general fund could end up taking the brunt of it. Better to wait a few weeks until the budget picture is clearer, he said.

“I want to see how badly damaged we are,” Perata said, adding he’s confident the plan can still be put on the November 2008 ballot. “A good idea is not going to be stopped by two weeks (delay).”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • On television Senator Perata says California’s health care reform compromise is dead on arrival. Now he’s saying he’s confident it will be on the November 2008 ballot. I’m getting whiplash. At the end of the day, it appears Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill will determine what happens to health care reform this year. If she says it won’t negatively impact the budget, Senator Perata will push it through the Senate. If she says it will make a bad situation worse, he’ll no doubt bury the reform package.