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Community college confirmation postponed

The state Senate has postponed a confirmation vote on three of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's appointees to the community college board of governors on Monday, giving the governor more time to lobby Senate Republicans for their votes.

"We've been working the Legislature to secure the votes," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McClear.

The three appointees to the community college board, Kay L. Albiani, Rose Castillo-Guilbault and John Koeberer, were unanimously approved by the Senate Rules Committee earlier this month.

But since that hearing, Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, protested the appointments over the trio's support of legislation by Sen. Gil Cedillo, which would make illegal immigrants eligible for state financial aid and to pay resident fees at community colleges.

In a GOP caucus meeting last week, Dutton urged his colleagues not to support the nominees. On Friday, Dutton's office informed the Schwarzenegger administration that there would be no Republican votes for the nominees. Because the appointments require a two-thirds vote, or 27 senators, least two GOP senators must vote to confirm.

The vote, originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed "out of respect for the governor," said Dutton, who said the governor's office was calling each Senate Republican in search of the two votes.

"As far as I know, there is no member of the caucus that is willing to put up an affirmative vote," Dutton said.

Cedillo, whose SB 160 is the central bone of contention in the confirmation fight, called Republican opposition to the appointees "unfortunate."

"It's an effort to chill their first amendment rights and it's an effort to create a specter of anyone who thinks about being pro-immigrant or pro-American," Cedillo said. "It's wholly inappropriate."