California Bills: Hundreds of Bills Await Legislative Decisions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Summer is over for lawmakers, and the legislative session resumed on Monday after a month-long hiatus. Hundreds of bills awaiting them in the Capitol that must be voted on, otherwise they will be dead or in purgatory.

“It’s the crazy moment of the legislature for the last month of session”, Than Kousser, dean of political science at UC San Diego said.

Some of the greats include SB 866 which allows adolescents aged 15 and over to be vaccinated without parental consent and AB 2408which allows prosecutors to sue social media companies for using addictive features.

“There are a number of bills that respond to Supreme Court rulings made this summer,” Kousser said. “So you see dozens of bills that seek to preserve access and abortion rights, and you see bills designed to rethink the concealed carry permit system.

One of the most controversial abortion bills is AB 2223which would prevent any criminal action against women who suffer pregnancy loss.

However, there is Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal, CARE Court (SB1338), aimed at aiding the homelessness crisis that would force people deemed to be mentally ill to seek treatment and housing. It has already passed the Senate unanimously, and now it has to go through the assembly.

“The real opposition that seems to be emerging is people saying, ‘Wait, wait a minute. It’s the counties that should actually be pursuing this, that should be providing this housing, providing all these services and being held accountable for $1,000 fines a day if they don’t,” Kousser said. “So counties are asking for action to make sure they can actually implement that vision on how to address some of the Californians most needy.”

Still many questions remain unanswered.

Another bill, SB 1162would require companies with more than 100 employees to disclose how much they pay their employees based on race, ethnicity and gender.

The list of bills includes a bill that would decriminalize the use of psychedelics and another that would allow the state to negotiate wages for fast food workers.

Hearings where the public could formally make a three-minute statement have ended, but Kousser said tensions were only mounting. Lawmakers always listen to the public, unions, lobbyists and others before voting.

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Bernard P. Love