Among some fans, the rap on professional basketball is that players run up and down the court for 45 minutes, exchanging buckets, but games are often decided in the final three minutes of intense physicality.
The same could be said for the California Legislature, which spends months in session but typically delays big, difficult issues until the frantic final few days.
Some of that tendency is merely human nature – the reluctance to make difficult decisions until they absolutely must be made.
Some of it is by design. It’s easier to hide something if procedures are bypassed and everyone is preoccupied.
This “low-balling” happens every year, and it may take weeks before the public and even lawmakers learn what was wrought in the dead of night.
Whether done publicly or clandestinely, as the Legislature reconvenes this week for the final four weeks of the 2012-14 session, there are many pending issues:
In terms of importance, the water bond looms the largest, given the severe drought. Brown wants a small bond, most legislators want a larger one, and there is much angst over its effect, if any, on Brown’s “twin tunnels” project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The groundwater regulation issue complicates the picture even more.
In terms of election-year impact, however, the bills that would affect consumers – gasoline prices and plastic bags – could be the biggies.