A veto from Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger ended the life of a California bill that would have established a licensing system and a criminal records check for sleep technologists in the state.

“The historic delay in passing the 2008-2009 State Budget has forced me to prioritize the bills sent to my desk at the end of the year’s legislative session. Given the delay, I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California. This bill does not meet that standard, and I cannot sign it at this time,” Schwarzenegger writes in his veto message to the members of the California State Senate.

The California Sleep Society (CSS) released a memo to all California members in reaction to the veto. “The bill received strong bipartisan support, demonstrated in the fact that SB 1526 passed the Assembly with a 67-10 vote. The veto of the bill was unrelated to the merits of the legislation; it was vetoed by the Governor solely for political reasons,” the memo states.

Both the Respiratory Care Board of California and the California Sleep Society have noted that they will continue to support future legislation of this nature.

“The Respiratory Care Board of California did support SB 1526, and we’re sorry to see the bill fail,” says Stephanie Nunez, executive officer of the Respiratory Care Board of California. “While it is too early to discuss any future legislative moves, the Board continues to generally support efforts to regulate sleep technicians, specifically as it relates to the competent practice of respiratory care.”

A CSS memo echoed the comments from Nunez: “The California Sleep Society Board of Directors, along with the AASM and the AAST, will be working on alternative courses of action in order to work toward the passage of this legislation. If the members of the legislature make the decision to return to Sacramento for a veto session, there is still a change that the measure will be enacted this year over the Governor’s veto.”