Monday, August 28, 2006

Times Misses BIG Story in LAUSD Bill Passing - But Daily News Gets It Right!

When I read the LA Times coverage on two Republicans crossing the aisle to suport the School Board takeover by the Mayor - nary a word was said about the real issue of the day - the "severability clause".

Luckily - the Daily News was able to realize what the real news was.... and tells us what really happened:

Harrison Shepard

Daily News

SACRAMENTO - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bid to take control of the Los Angeles Unified School District passed the state Senate Monday morning on a narrow vote, leaving the mayor one step away from his vision of reforming the city's schools.

The bill was approved on a 23-14 vote - just above the 21 votes needed to pass - on an almost party-line vote with just two Democrats in opposition and two Republicans in support.

"I can tell you that the work's not done yet," Villaraigosa said minutes after the vote. "We still got an Assembly battle. But my hope is tomorrow we'll be able to declare victory there as well."


One of the Republicans to cross over to voting in favor of the bill was Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, who had been leading opposition to the bill as recently as Friday.

Runner said he still opposes the concept, and prefers a breakup of the Los Angeles Unified School District, but when the authors removed a legal provision that he most objected to, he agreed to vote in favor.

That provision was a "severability clause" which tells courts if one portion of the bill is struck down, the rest should remain law. Runner was concerned that in the event of a successful lawsuit, that clause would leave a half-measure in place, which in his view was worse than the entire bill becoming law....

UPDATE!! Almost 7 PM and LA Times is still running its before noon story - with three credited writers as opposed to the Daily News' one - that does NOT even mention the meat of the real story - that the bill passed was a severe below to the Mayor since it was amended to say that if one part of the bill loses in court (as many people think will happen) - the entire bill is dead.

UPDATE!! At 8:40 PM LA Times - finally - addresses the minor fact that the change to the bill will - likely - make the entire bill null in paragraph 30 of... 32. And it just barely addresses that fact:,0,3429715.story?coll=la-home-headlines

To garner votes from Republicans Runner and Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield, Nuñez on Friday amended the bill to remove a "severability" clause that would have allowed portions of the law to remain in effect even if other sections were struck down by a court. Runner pushed for the clause's removal because, he said, he did not want parts of the bill that were concessions to unions to remain if Villaraigosa's powers were limited by a court.

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