Late Sunday night, Gov. Jerry Brown put another end-of-session bill signing period in the books, the 15th in his record-setting tenure as California governor.
Bottom line: The Democrat axed 12 percent of the bills that made it to his desk this year, slightly less than the 15 percent he vetoed in 2016.
Brown vetoed 118 of the 977 bills by the end of the period. Among those that didn’t make it into law are measures that called for presidential candidates to publicly disclose tax returns, the release of gender-specific pay data by large private employers and for schools to more rigorously address sexual violence and harassment.
His veto record has been pretty consistent since he assumed office – for the second time – in 2011, said Chris Micheli, a Sacramento lobbyist whose clients include the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which was involved in the Legislature’s $52 billion transportation package that Brown signed earlier this year.
Micheli regularly tracks veto records of Brown and past governors to get a sense of their philosophy and legislative priorities.
“You can see he often doesn’t want to take us down a particular path, for example with the (Sen. Mike) McGuire bill calling for President (Donald) Trump to disclose his tax returns,” Micheli said. “You can see that in his veto message, where he basically says as appealing as it may be, where does it end?”
From 2011 to this year, Brown has vetoed 10.7 to 15 percent of the bills with which he’s presented, a much lower rate than past Republican governors, Micheli pointed out. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed 22.3 to 35 percent of bills that made it to his desk when he was in office, Pete Wilson had a 8.6 to 24.5 percent veto rate.
“Republican governors were dealing with Democratic-controlled houses of the Legislature, so naturally they’re going to have more of a difference in opinion,” Micheli said.
Brown in 2012 – his 10th year as California’s leader – broke the career record for most bills signed by a governor. During his first eight-year run, from 1975 to 1983, he vetoed fewer than 5 percent of regular session bills.
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WORTH REPEATING: “Over the course of time, she has been a strong advocate for California, but it’s time for new leadership.” – Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, endorsing Kevin de León over U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
GOVERNOR’S RACE: The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno will host a lunch for Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox at Piazza Del Pane in Fresno. Cox also is being endorsed by the California Pro-Life Council, the state affiliate of National Right to Life, which cited his opposition to abortion rights he says is informed by his Catholic faith. Brian Johnston, chairman of the group, said in a statement that “John Cox is genuinely pro-life.”
RETURNING VETERANS: Brown and state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, will tour the Veterans Resource Center at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut today, followed by a press conference to discuss education, housing, health care and jobs for veterans after returning home.
CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Sen. Newman, who turns 53 today, and to state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, who turns 60 today.