Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened publicly Thursday what he has hinted privately for days: He will veto many of the 700-plus bills on his desk unless a water deal is struck this week.
"I made it very clear to the legislators and to the leaders that if this does not get done, then I will veto a lot of their legislation, a lot of their bills, so that should inspire them to go and get the job done," he said.
Schwarzenegger's threat came at the end of remarks to the Association of Community College Trustees' Leadership Congress in San Francisco.
Hours later, Schwarzenegger met behind closed doors at the Capitol with legislative leaders of both parties in hopes of reaching agreement to ease water supply and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta problems that have been brewing for decades.
More talks are anticipated before Schwarzenegger must take action by midnight Sunday on bills passed recently by the Legislature.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg dismissed the governor's veto comments as a "sideshow."
"I have every confidence that when it's all said and done, and all the noise has gone away, the governor will consider the bills on their merits," Steinberg said.
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