California Governor Jerry Brown acted on almost 1000 bills this legislative session. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, political analysts say the Governor likely had his tax initiative in mind when deciding what to sign into law.
Governor Brown vetoed about 12-percent of the bills that landed on his desk. Kevin Riggs, a former TV reporter who covered the Capitol for years, says Brown was trying to show voters that government can be responsible by vetoing legislation that might have harmed the economy, to give his November tax measure a boost.
“I think the Governor, in trying to come up with a balance of what he would sign and what he would veto was taking a look clearly at what’s happening next month, Prop 30 on the ballot.”
Riggs points to two bills the governor vetoed: one that would have required state mandated meal and rest breaks for domestic workers like babysitters…and another that would have criminalized farmers who don’t provide enough shade and water to field workers. Those are two bills Loren Kaye with the California Chamber of Commerce was glad to see go.
“I think he’s sensitive to the needs of the California economy that we’re recovering, but we’re recovering very slowly and we need all the help that we can get, and the last thing you need to do is to layer on more regulations that we already got.”
Still, Governor Brown might have alienated some labor groups and immigrant rights groups with those vetoes…and by rejecting another bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for death benefits for families of firefighters who died of cancer. That measure was written by Assembly Speaker John Perez, but the speaker says the Governor struck the right balance.
“In areas where the Governor expressed adamance, we’re going to have to go back and talk. In areas where the Governor expressed some support but concerns, then we have a pathway to go back and work and reintroduce legislation that will earn his signature, but I think this Governor has been fundamentally fair.”
Brown can only hope voters feel the same way come November.