Skinner praises Newsom, but says staff is inexperienced. ‘I’ve got to do my thing’

Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing a great job, but his office lacks experience, East Bay State Sen. Nancy Skinner told Alameda County Democrats last week.

Skinner has a number of bills pending as the state Legislature wraps-up business in a flurry of action over the next month.

Among them a high-profile bill requiring the California universities to pay student athletes when their name and likeness is used by the school; legislation allowing convicted felons the right to serve on juries, and another to streamline the process for existing local planning  for new housing.

But Skinner’s comments about the inexperience of Newsom’s office was notable for its candor.

“It’s an intense month and our new governor–his staff are great–but very few of them have been in, what we call, the ‘horseshoe’,” she said, a reference to the governor’s office.

Skinner added, with a hint of disbelief, that Newsom’s office has repeatedly asked Democratic lawmakers recently to convert their legislation to two-year bills, essentially mothballing them for the forseeable future.

“Any experienced governor’s office would never really ask a legislator that unless it was a really problematic bill, because if you’ve got a shot at getting your bill through, you want it. Delay is not your friend,” Skinner told the Alameda County Democratic Central Committeee in Oakland on Aug. 7.

“Gov. Newsom is very good. I think his staff will get used to the process soon enough,” but in the meantime, Skinner added, “I’ve go to do my thing.”

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