With a long-awaited state water deal in sight, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger finally took action on hundreds of bills that had been sitting on his desk for almost a month — a frenzied burst of signatures and vetoes that stretched into the wee hours of Monday morning, The Mercury News reports. In all, the governor, who had threatened mass vetoes unless legislators committed to forging a water reform package, signed 478 bills and rejected 229. He reliably favored the state’s business interests but also boosted two of his favored causes: education reform and green technology. Among the most sweeping is a bill by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, meant to help California better compete for billions in new federal education money. The bill, SB19, will allow data on students’ performance to be linked to teacher evaluations — a key criteria to help the state qualify for so-called "Race to the Top" stimulus money but has been bitterly opposed in concept by teachers unions.
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