Print this Article

Senate Rejects Oropeza

April 29, 2010

The California Senate has blocked one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nominees to the state Board of Education (SBE), with Democrats claiming she had a conflict of interest.

The Senate voted 17-11 Thursday – along party lines – to reject Jeannie Oropeza, who the Governor named to the SBE in March. The Democratic leadership, including Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, indicated they felt her regular job as Schwarzenegger's appointee specializing in education issues at the Department of Finance means she would not be a sufficiently independent voice on the SBE.

Schwarzenegger expressed disappointment, saying "There is no one more knowledgeable about California education issues and no one more qualified to serve on the state board than Jeannie Oropeza."

Appointees to the SBE can serve for up to a year without Senate confirmation. The Senate’s swift rejection of Oropeza was a marked contrast to the way the Senate handled the Governor’s appointments to the SBE in 2009. The Senate never acted to confirm Scharzenegger’s appointees Rae Belisle and Jorge Lopez – essentially “running out the clock” on both nominations. Lopez resigned just before he completed a year on the SBE. Belisle’s nomination was quietly withdrawn.

Source:  EdBrief staff.