According to statistics from the Governor’s office, this year Governor Jerry Brown signed 808 bills and vetoed 133, for a total of 941 bills. With over 2,300 new bills introduced, that’s a veto rate of about 14 percent.
Among the bills signed and vetoed, there were a number of surprises, and some that weren’t so surprising. Among the surprises, the governor vetoed labor-backed legislation that would have allowed workers to take up to 12 weeks off to care for sick family members, including siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, domestic partners and parents-in-law.
Current law only allows that benefit for sick children, parents or spouses.
Governor Brown signed “right- to-die” legislation for the terminally ill, but vetoed the “right to try bill” that would have allowed terminally ill patients use experimental drugs as a last resort.
In spite of recent investigations and ongoing criticism of the California Public Utilities Commission, a package of bills aimed at reforming the PUC, including legislation which attempted to rein in conflicts of interest among commissioners, was vetoed.
The governor signed a bill that automatically registers people to vote who apply for new or renewed drivers’ licenses, increasing the likelihood of fraudulent voting by illegal immigrants.
He also signed a package of bills establishing regulations to govern production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana.
In another surprising move, Governor Brown vetoed a bipartisan bill that attempted to rein in Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit abuse by establishing a short window for small businesses to correct deficiencies in their compliance with the act before being sued.
Agree or disagree, eight months of debate, discussion and late-night committee hearings by 120 legislators eventually comes down to the final decisions of one individual.