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CA: Deal Cut on Global Warming Package, Popular Vote Advances to Gov

In California, progressives have good news in droves. In addition to the passage of a single-payer system to extend health insurance to all Californians in a cost-effective manner, the state legislature has advanced several other key pieces of legislation. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut a deal to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in California, making the state to put significant teeth into an effort to fight global warming across the board. California has already embraced stricter emissions standards for autos. California's legislature also embraced democracy and passed a plan to give California's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote -- but only if enough other states agree to do the same to decide the actual winner of the election. The proposal makes sense for California. Like most states, California is not considered a "swing state" meaning that its voters get largely ignored during Presidential elections. The plan will help non-swing states attract the equal attention they deserve from candidates. While critics in California cast the move as an "end-run" around the Constitution, the fact is that the Constitution specifically empowers state legislatures to determine how electors are awarded. The framers of the Constitution wisely foresaw that a system they envisioned may need tweaking in the future, leaving open the possibility of exactly this type of solution.