(CALMATTERS) – State lawmakers adjourned Friday as the legislative session drew to a close, sending hundreds of bills to Newsom’s desk even as some of the most progressive environmental and criminal justice proposals remained on the cutting room floor. The casualties underscore not only the tensions between the Legislature’s moderate and liberal Democrats, but also the stubborn realities facing California. For example, lawmakers rejected a bill that called for reducing greenhouse gas emissions beyond current mandates — a setback for environmentalists, but perhaps also an implicit recognition that California isn’t even on pace to meet its current goals. And amid a sizable spike in homicides and a brutal Sacramento murder, bills stalled that would have expunged felony records for more offenders, reformed the cash bail system and removed exemptions to California’s sanctuary state law.
Other key takeaways:
- Lawmakers passed bills to overhaul the state’s beleaguered unemployment department, pay people struggling with drug addiction to stay sober, make it easier for terminally ill patients to end their own lives, remove mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, reform conservatorship laws, prevent police from blocking journalists covering protests and demonstrations, hold fashion brands liable for fair wages, return prime beachfront property to descendants of the Black couple who built the resort and require many local governments to continue allowing residents to access meetings remotely. They also approved billions of dollars for wildfire and drought prevention.
- Legislators also passed a bill that would decriminalize loitering with the intent to commit prostitution — but the author, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, took the rare step of blocking it from being sent to Newsom’s desk until January 2022.
For more, check out CalMatters’ roundup of the top 21 bills sent to Newsom.