35 percent

We can’t figure out what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was thinking when he vetoed an alarming 35 percent of the bills that crossed his desk last week. Mind you, this pile of rejected legislation had already been tested, enhanced and supported enough to deserve fair consideration.

He killed a bill to increase access to health care by prohibiting insurance companies from dropping coverage when patients become ill. He killed a bill that would have increased bottom-line health benefits for most patients. He even killed a bill which sought to reform the state’s mortgage industry. In many cases, the killed bills actually seem aligned with the governor’s own legislative goals.

Schwarzenegger’s staff has said the high volume of vetoes was the result of a time collapse between the date the budget was finally passed and the date the bills needed to be signed. But surely the governor and his people could have studied the merits (or lack thereof) of these bills during the yawning days of the budget impasse.

In the end, Schwarzenegger vetoed a larger batch of bills than ever before in California history. Why? We honestly don’t know.