On Friday night, the 2021 Legislative Session officially concluded. I have been told that it wasn’t as eventful as it has been in previous years (we even ended before midnight which has only happened twice since 1995).
There are now more than 800 bills sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting action. He has until October 10th to either sign, veto, or allow a bill to become law without a signature.
As your Representative, I want to be sure to keep you updated on the status of some of the most prominent and controversial bills introduced this year. Here is a rundown:
Bills Currently Sitting on the Governor’s Desk:
- AB 37: Requires counties to send vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots to all registered voters for all future elections.
- AB 48: Limits the use of rubber bullets and chemical agents by law enforcement at a protest or demonstration.
- AB 101: Requires every high school student to complete a one-semester course in ethnic studies in order to graduate.
- AB 333: Narrows the scope of existing penalties applicable to active participation or crimes committed for the benefit of, or in association with, a criminal street gang. Removes looting, felony vandalism, and identity theft from the list of offenses.
- AB 1084: Requires large retail department stores that sell childcare items and toys to provide a gender neutral section or area where those products are displayed or be subject to fines.
- SB 2: Gives the State’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training the power to decertify/terminate an officer for misconduct. It also establishes an advisory board made up of mostly civilians to investigate and make recommendations to the commission.
- SB 9 and SB 10: Both of these bills make changes to single-family property zoning laws. SB 9 would allow homeowners to build two houses or a duplex on a single-family lot and SB 10 would allow local governments to rezone single-family parcels to allow up to ten homes per parcel in urban and transit hub areas.
- SB 380: Reduces the waiting period to receive assisted suicide medication from two weeks to two days, and extends California’s physician-assisted suicide law for another nine years.
Bills that Failed to Reach the Governor’s Desk (May be Eligible Next Year):
- AB 937: Would have prohibited any state or local agency from arresting or assisting with the arrest, confinement, detention, transfer, interrogation, or deportation of an individual for an immigration enforcement purpose.
- AB 1139: Would have reduced the money solar customers receive for the energy they sell back to the grid and raised prices on the installation on rooftop solar.
- AB 1223: Would have imposed an excise tax of 10% of the sales price of a handgun and 11% of the sales price of a long gun, rifle, firearm precursor part, and ammunition.
- AB 1509: Would have repealed many provisions for enhanced sentences for being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony. Brandishing, discharging, or inflicting death or great bodily injury during the commission of an enumerated felony would have been reduced from 10 years, 20 years, or life imprisonment to just 1, 2, or 3 years.
- SB 262: Would have required bail to be set based on the defendant's ability to pay. It would have also required 95% of the amount paid to a bail bondsman to be repaid to the defendant if the person makes all court appearances.
- SB 357: Would have repealed the existing crime of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution.
- SB 519: Would have decriminalized the possession, transport, and use of specified hallucinogenic substances including Ecstasy, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and LSD by persons over the age of 21.
- SB 731: Would have allowed convicted felons to hide the fact that they were convicted from standard background checks four years after their sentence is completed, except for serious, violent, and sex offender felons. It would also have allowed petitions for expungement to be granted by a court for all felonies.
Failed “Gut-And-Amend” Bills:
During the last few weeks, the authors of AB 455 and AB 1102 were considering “gutting-and-amending” their bills, with very little time for public input or review, to impose strict, last-minute vaccine mandates on individuals and businesses in California, including requiring all Californians to show proof of vaccination to enter a businesses, and requiring both public and private sector employees to be fully vaccinated or regularly tested.
Fortunately, these amendments were never introduced, and please be assured that if they had been, I would have strongly opposed both. I am also opposed to the use of the gut and amend process as a means to avoid and exclude the public from participating in the legislative process.
If you would like to check on the status of any other legislation, please click HERE.
If you would like to contact the Governor's office to register your opinion on a bill, please click HERE.
I hope you found this informative and helpful and, as always, it is my privilege to be your Representative in the California State Assembly.