Panel considers Calif. lieutenant governor nominee - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Panel considers Calif. lieutenant governor nominee

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State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A key legislative committee is scheduled to consider Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nominee for lieutenant governor.

Some lawmakers of both parties oppose the nomination of Republican state Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria. He has sometimes crossed party lines to provide crucial budget and tax votes, while at other times he has stuck with his GOP colleagues.

Some Democrats want to keep Maldonado in the Senate during an upcoming emergency session to close the state's budget deficit, believing he could be a swing vote. But an outright rejection of the nomination would anger Schwarzenegger, likely complicating the budget negotiations.

Maldonado would assume the post automatically if the Legislature fails to act by Feb. 21.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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