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Lockyer Amends Secession Bill to Ease Some Criticisms

Seeking to reassure critics, state Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) proposed amendments to his San Fernando Valley secession bill Wednesday to clarify the advisory role and makeup of a commission charged with studying the effects of dividing Los Angeles.

The new language explicitly states that the commission study would not hold up any parallel study by the county agency in charge of detachment and incorporation.

It also, as promised by Lockyer, deletes mistakenly inserted language that called for a sunset clause on the bill.

Richard Close, co-chairman of Valley VOTE, which backs legislation to make it easier to separate from Los Angeles, greeted the amendments as a step toward compromise. Now the only obstacle is Lockyer’s insistence on a citywide vote on secession, rather than the Valley residents-only vote preferred by Close’s group.

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Another amendment fine-tunes the method of selecting the eight-member advisory panel to study the impact of Valley secession. It gives the governor four appointments from a list provided by Valley organizations.

The City Council would appoint the other members.

Lockyer also included a provision that one of the governor’s appointees “shall be an editor of a daily newspaper published in the San Fernando Valley.”

Lockyer spokesman Sandy Harrison said the slot was designated for an editor from the Daily News, which often was at odds with Lockyer over his handling of the secession bill last year.

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Daily News Editor David J. Butler did not return phone calls seeking comment.


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