Important California Bills Await Governor Jerry Brown’s Signature – Orange County Register

State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said the 2017 session of the California Legislature was “the most productive and progressive legislative session in memory.” Hundreds of bills are on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, and he has until Oct. 15 to sign, not sign, or veto. Here’s a look at some of the major bills on his desk.

Major legislation

Several major legislative initiatives did not make it to the governor’s office, including state-run universal health care and overhauling the bond system. Here is a brief overview of some of the most important bills, according to CAL account.

affordable housing

Three bills are on the governor’s desk, but even supporters admit they will have a minor impact.

  • SB 2: Would impose a $75 fee on many real estate transactions and direct that revenue to affordable state-sponsored housing. The fee could bring in more than $200 million a year.
  • SB 3: Would put a $4 billion affordable housing bond before voters in 2018. The loan would support construction and subsidize home loans for veterans.
  • SB 35: Eases regulatory hurdles for new housing developments in cities that fall short of their state-mandated housing goals.

sanctuary state

Senate Leader Kevin de León wants to regulate if, and when, local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with federal immigration agencies. Most Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups support the Los Angeles Democrat’s SB 54, while the California State Sheriffs’ Association opposes it and the California Police Chiefs Association is now neutral on the matter.

Unauthorized immigrants

Immigration detention

Divided the same way as sanctuary state legislation, SB 29, by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, would impose a moratorium on cities contracting with detention centers for those arrested for being illegally in the country.

community college tuition

Free lessons

AB 19: Community college tuition would be free the first year for all Californians. The author of the measure, Democratic Congressman Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles, wrote the bill citing the state’s need for one million more workers with bachelor’s degrees by 2030.

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office estimates the bill would cost the state $31 million a year, but Brown’s Department of Finance pegged the cost at $50 million.

female percentage of salary

Gender pay gap

The average full-time working woman in California earns 86 cents for every dollar earned by a man. AB 1209 would require large companies to publish the average pay gap between male and female employees, as well as for board members.

AB 168 would prohibit employers from asking a candidate for their previous salary.
Both bills are backed by women’s rights groups. the California Chamber of Commerce called the bills “job killers.”

Young aggressors

SB 394: Youth sentenced to life without parole would have a chance at freedom. The measure would require the state to hold parole hearings for these offenders after 25 years of incarceration.


SB 179: California would create an additional gender designation for all forms of state identification: not “M” for male or “F” for female, but “non-binary.” (Possibly “X”, though that remains to be seen.)

For a complete list of laws, billing information, and information about the California Legislature, go to:

For a more detailed report of the legislation on the office of the governor, go to

what you can do

The governor has until October 15 to approve or veto a bill. The bill becomes law if it does nothing. You can always contact the governor regarding the bills on his desk, and the fastest way to contact his office is to submit an email.

Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Responses to inquiries sent by mail may take up to 90 days.

Busy politicians?

There has been a flurry of legislation with Governor Jerry Brown facing the end of his last term next year and Democrats holding supermajorities in both houses of the Legislative Assembly.

Governors since 1960

California Governors

Sources: Calmatters, Digital First Media Archive, Associated Press, Pew Research Center
California State Legislature, CalChamber

Top photo from May 2017, The Associated Press



Bernard P. Love