By: Erinn Ryberg

Actions the Governor Can Take on Legislation

As Legislative Director for Assembly Woman Cristina Garcia, I’ve learned a couple of things about Governor Brown when it comes to how he’ll act on legislation. The first thing I’ve learned? More often than not, he signs bills into law. John Myers had a piece in the Los Angeles Times today, noting that Governor Brown only vetoed 12% of the 977 bills that came to his desk this year – down from vetoing 15% of bills last year. The second thing I’ve learned is about the types of bills that land in that 12%.

There are two categories of bills that Governor Brown likes to veto – bills that create new crimes and bills that either cut taxes or create new spending. I’ll start with why he tends to veto the spending bills. The reasoning tends to fall along the lines of new spending bills – new money leaving the General Fund – or new tax cut bills – money no longer entering the General Fund – should be considered with all the other budget priorities as part of the budget process, not as separate, standalone bills. You can imagine my very pleasant surprise when it was announced that he signed my boss’s bill, AB 10 into law. I’ll have more on that bill in another post and conversation with Jon Wainwright. The reasoning behind his vetoes of bills creating new crimes is that the Governor believes that California’s penal code is long and complex enough and there’s no need to make it any longer or more complex.

You can also find a great in depth piece on the some of the major bills Governor Brown signed this year on CALmatters, including AB 10.

For more information on California lawmaking, check out our other In Brief podcasts.