"We all get politics and everybody has ambition. . . . But we have a job to do here."
But if they can't, the good-time incentives and parole improvements alone would be worth passing. They'd mark substantial progress toward prison reform.
* Water. Steinberg says this is his "biggest priority" -- "absolutely essential for California" and "the best opportunity we have to show we can do something big."
Bass concurs: "After deficit, deficit, deficit, water is important psychologically. It's important that we come out of this with a significant victory and water would do it."
The water bill will be shaped by a two-house panel that began meeting Wednesday.
The goal is many-fold. But the most important is to restore the ecosystem and remodel the plumbing of the collapsing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hub of California's waterworks. To do that, Democrats want to create an independent governing body.
Conservation and new water storage -- underground and reservoirs -- will be part of any package.
And a key sticking point will be over who pays -- water users, mostly, but also taxpayers through bonds.
Any compromise will require a relatively small bond, at least initially -- certainly not in the $11-billion range Schwarzenegger previously has proposed.
Incremental steps are better than standing still or falling backward.