A California Superior Court judge tentatively ruled against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his battle with the California Nurses Association over his decision to relax the state's landmark nurse-staffing law. The CNA alleged that Schwarzenegger violated the state constitution with an emergency regulation delaying for three years the implementation of a stricter, mandatory nurse-to-patient ratio in general medical units. Without the emergency regulation, hospitals would have been required to move to a 1-to-5 nurse-to-patient ratio in general medical units as of Jan. 1, from a 1-to-6 ratio. Schwarzenegger also excused hospitals from complying with the required staffing ratio for emergency rooms in the event of an unexpected surge in patients. If Judge Judy Holzer Hersher in Sacramento upholds her ruling after a hearing today, hospitals would have to immediately meet the law's original requirements, the CNA said. -- by Melanie Evans
Preliminary ruling upholds initial Calif. nurse ratios
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