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Vote to confirm Cal State chairman in doubt, Senate leader says

February 23, 2012 |  1:06 pm

Charles B. Reed, left, and Herbert L. Carter
State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) warned Thursday that he may not allow a vote on the governor’s appointment of Herbert L. Carter to the California State University board by next week’s deadline if Republicans don’t drop their opposition to the confirmation.

Carter, who is the board chairman, needs a two-thirds vote of the Senate to be confirmed, which would require at least two Republicans to join the Democratic majority. But GOP lawmakers have objected to Carter’s votes to raise student fees by 12% while he agreed to pay a new president at the San Diego campus $400,000.

"If there are no Republican votes, I’m not particularly interested in having a major floor fight," Steinberg told reporters at the Capitol. "The votes are either there or not there."

Steinberg said Democrats support Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of Carter last year to the post, which needs Senate confirmation within a year or Carter would have to step down.

"We support him. Every signal from the Republicans is that they don’t," Steinberg said. "If that doesn’t change then he’s not going to be confirmed."

Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar said last week he cannot recommend confirmation of Carter "until such time as Californians see real evidence that the CSU trustees are making the tough decisions needed to control escalating costs that are being passed onto students and their families."

The CSU board is one of the few that require a two-thirds vote of the Senate for confirmation, and Steinberg said that gives Republicans some power. "I think any opportunity now that they have involving a two-thirds vote they want to show that they are relevant," Steinberg said. "I would argue there are better ways to show you are relevant and that you are the loyal opposition actually getting real things done consistent with your philosophy."


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento 

Photo: Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed, left, listens as Board of Trustees Chairman Herbert L. Carter addresses his colleagues. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times