With all the legislative deadlines completed, and all the bills signed or vetoed, we can now take a look at the 2021 legislative session by the numbers. Just more than 800 bills reached the Governor’s desk, including close to 700 bills that were passed in the final month of the legislative session.
2,421 bills were introduced in 2021. 828 bills were introduced in the State Senate, 1,593 came from the Assembly. In total, 836 bills made it to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, roughly 34.5% of the total number of bills introduced. 32% of the bills introduced were signed into law, and 3% of all bills introduced were vetoed.
Governor Newsom signed 770 of the 836 bills that reached his desk, good for a 92.1% signature rate. 66 bills were vetoed, meaning 7.9% of the bills reaching the governor’s desk got vetoed.
Of the 770 bills that were signed into law, 66% were Assembly Bills, 34% were Senate Bills. Of the Assembly Bills that were signed into law, 75% were authored by Democrats, 11.5% were authored by Republicans, and the remaining 13.5% were either committee bills or authored by the independent legislator. 76% of the Senate Bills that became law were authored by Democrats, 8.5% were authored by Republicans, and 15.5% were committee bills.
Of the 66 vetoed bills, 68% were AB’s and 32% were SB’s. Of the AB’s that were vetoed, 91% were written by Democrats, 4% by Republicans, and the remaining 5% came from committees or the independent legislator. As far as SB’s are concerned, 86% were authored by Democrats and 14% were written by Republicans.
Governor Newsom’s 7.9% veto rate this year is down from the 13% of bills he vetoed last year, when the length of the legislative session and the number of bills was cut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both are lower rates than the 16.5% of bills he vetoed in his first year.
By comparison, Governor Brown in his second stint as Governor received between 850 and 1,250 bills annually. He vetoed a low of 10% and a high of 15% of those bills. His predecessor, Governor Schwarzenegger received between 900 and 1.250 in his seven years as governor. He vetoed between 22% and 35%. In Governor Gray Davis’s five years, he received between 950 and 1,450 bills, vetoing a low of 6% and a high of 25% of the bills. Before him, Governor Pete Wilson received between 1,050 and 1,700 bills and vetoed between 8% and 24% of bills.
You can read a transcript of the audio in this post here.