11:59 PM PDT on Friday, October 1, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Compared to some of his Inland peers, Assemblyman Paul Cook had a pretty good year legislatively, with 10 of his 12 bills that passed the Legislature signed into law.

But getting more notice Friday was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sarcastic putdown of a Cook measure that was a victim of this week’s veto pen.

“This bill removes the apostrophe in the specified references in Contractors’ State License Law.

Number of legislative committees that took time hearing this bill: 3

Number of pages in this bill needed to remove an apostrophe: 184

Taxpayer dollars used to pass this bill through the Legislature: $ thousands and thousands.

The outrage the public should have that the Legislature is spending its time ‘working’ on bills like this instead of focusing on California’s real problems: PRICELESS.”

Cook called the veto message “unprofessional.” The Contractors’ State License Board — part of the administration’s Department of Consumer Affairs — had asked the Yucca Valley Republican to carry the measure. The governor appointed 11 members of the 15-member panel.

“Do you think I went home one night and thought, ‘Hey, they got problems at the state contractors’ licensing board. I think I’ll run a bill?’ ” Cook said Friday. “I did not see this coming.”

It is not the first time that a Schwarzenegger veto has packed a punch. Last year, a veto of a San Francisco lawmaker’s bill spelled out an obscenity; the governor’s aides called it a coincidence.

Overall in 2010, Schwarzenegger vetoed 295 of the 1,006 bills sent to his desk, according to the Senate Local Government Committee.

Cook introduced AB 2419 in February. It would have removed an apostrophe to make it clear that contractors don’t run the contractors’ board, Cook said.

To read entire story, click here.