First things first
The day after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger accused California legislators of being a group of do-nothing politicians because they had not yet taken any action on his 2005 agenda, the Senate met in general session. Among the governor's criticisms the day before had been this comment: "The people of California have sent the legislators to Sacramento to work. Not to just hang. That's what they've been doing the last three weeks: hang."
The Senate's central order of business for the day turned out the be voting on a resolution sponsored by Republican leader Dick Ackerman of Orange County. Ackerman, a UC Berkeley alumnus, wanted to put the Senate on record opposing the system the Bowl Championship Series used to pick the collegiate teams to play in the major football bowl games this year. Like all Cal fans, Ackerman was livid that the Bears were snubbed in favor of Texas for a Rose Bowl invitation and had to settle for playing in the Holiday Bowl instead.
The resolution drew some good-natured debate, but also harsh criticism from Democratic Sen. Jackie Speier, who said the resolution was not only silly but also an example of how the Senate had become "a jock-ocracy."
The debate prompted this tongue-in-cheek response from Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, presiding over the session: "Let the governor realize we're not just hanging out today."
SR7 passed 17-6, with many senators taking a pass on the vote. Many of the no votes were cast by the most serious-minded ideologues on both sides of the aisle: conservatives Tom McClintock and Bill Morrow, and liberals Martha Escutia and Sheila Kuehl.