The governor's comments came in the wake of Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, acknowledging that he was considering the tactic but had not approached the governor.
On learning of the governor's remark, Perata said he planned to huddle with other legislative majority Democrats, aides said.
During wide-ranging questions after an address to the Sacramento Press Club, Gov. Schwarzenegger asked specifically if he supported Perata's proposal given the state's existing debt said he "supports any good idea that we could have."
"I'm open-minded," he said. "I just need to see his details because the devil is always in the details."
Afterward his aides, who sought last year to dump bridge cost overruns mostly in the laps of Bay Area motorists, said the multibillion-dollar bond won't be the only solution considered.
With officials still wrestling over final designs to repair the quake-damaged bridge, Perata said earlier this month that "it makes a lot of sense, under the current circumstances, to bond this the way we do everything else."
In other developments, a new poll by the Bay Area-based Public Policy Institute of California indicated that although the governor's popularity remains
"Californians like Schwarzenegger but they no longer view him as above the political fray," said poll director Mark Baldassare.
That is bad news for Schwarzenegger, who is preparing by March to bypass the Legislature and seek reforms in deficit-plagued state government with a special election ballot, Baldassare said.
In another of a string of insults aimed at Democrats, the Republican governor called their resistance to his agenda a "sideshow."
Schwarzenegger accused the Legislature's Democratic leaders of "stalling" on his extensive reform package and repeated his vow to take his measures to the voters in a special election this year.
Schwarzenegger said he would barnstorm the state to gather signatures and promote his program, much as he did last year in support of a $15 billion bond measure to refinance the state deficit and later during the November campaign.
Schwarzenegger's amendments would impose across-the-board spending cuts when revenues failed to match spending; give the authority for drawing legislative districts to retired judges; restrict state pension obligations; and base teacher pay on merit rather than tenure. Earlier this month the governor called a special session of the Legislature to consider the ideas.
Steve Maviglio, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said the Legislature hasn't acted on any of the governor's measures because none has been submitted in complete form an assertion the administration denied.
Despite the possibility of a quake bond paying most of the remaining Bay Bridge work costs, Perata did not rule out another increase in the current $3 bridge tolls as part of a solution.
The project is the largest, most costly public works project in state history. Perata indicated including south-state projects would make a bond proposal more politically feasible.
Bay Area transportation officials already have embraced the idea.
Last year the governor and majority legislative Democrats deadlocked over financing the remaining $5.9 billion in bridge-work costs.
This year, without a solution, the bridge-funding gap could bloat an overall state deficit that's already nearly $9 billion.
Contact Sacramento Bureau Chief Steve Geissinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.