Legislative Update

View the legislative bills report here. (updated 9/17/2021)

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September 17, 2021

With Recall Behind Him, Newsom Transitions to Legislative Actions

The biggest news this week was that Governor Gavin Newsom easily defeated the recall effort and will finish out the rest of his first term.

While it will take several weeks to count all of the ballots the current margin from the Secretary of State’s Office shows a resounding 64% to 36% voting against the recall. Even if that margin narrows as the rest of the votes are counted, it won’t be enough to oust the sitting Governor.

According to the Department of Finance, the recall election cost taxpayers approximately $276 million. The price tag for the special election combined with recall process, including the low bar to trigger a recall and the lack of a runoff election for the top-two vote getters should a governor be recalled, has prompted the chairs of the Assembly and Senate Committees on Elections to announce that they will be holding a series of joint hearings to discuss improvements to California’s recall laws.

With the election behind him, Governor Newsom can now focus on the hundreds of bills that are currently on his desk awaiting action. Last Friday, September 10, 2021, the Legislature concluded its work for the first year of the 2021–22 Legislative Session, which we detailed in last week’s update. Governor Newsom has until Sunday, October 10, 2021, to sign or veto measures.

As Governor Newsom begins to take action on bills, we will not only be monitoring what he signs or vetoes, but also the accompanying signing or veto message that comes along with that action. Governor Newsom’s veto and signing messages are important to follow as they help inform his legislative priorities and policy principles, giving lawmakers and stakeholders a clearer roadmap as to how to get his approval on legislation in future years.

While he has not yet taken action on the slew of community college bills approved by the Legislature last week, we will continue to monitor his actions and keep you posted of the community college related bills he signs and vetoes in subsequent updates.

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