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Governor Signs Coastal Commission Fix

Governor Davis has signed legislation designed to correct a constitutional flaw and keep the state Coastal Commission in business.

The measure responds to a state appeals court decision that said the way a majority of the commissioners are appointed violates the constitution´s separation of powers clause by giving legislative leaders too much influence over commission decisions. The Assembly speaker and the state Senate Rules Committee each appoint four of the commission´s 12 members now. Those appointees supposedly serve two-year terms but they can be removed at any time. The bill signed by Davis gives the commission´s legislative appointees fixed four-year terms.

Supporters say this fix should satisfy the court ruling, but critics say the fact that legislative leaders will still appoint a majority of the commissioners will continue to raise constitutional questions.