A Sacramento Superior Court judge tentatively ruled Thursday that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrongly relaxed the state's landmark law mandating nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.
The California Nurses Association sued Schwarzenegger, arguing he violated the state's Constitution when he successfully sought an emergency regulation to loosen the law and prevent ratios in hospital medical-surgical wards from tightening in January to one nurse per five patients, from a 1-to-6 ratio.
Judge Judy Holzer Hersher's decision came a day before a scheduled hearing on the union's lawsuit, after which the judge may issue a final order.
In a statement, Rose Ann DeMoro, the union's executive director, said, "This tentative ruling is monumental news for all California patients and families who need hospital care."