Why did the governor block California bills?

By Laurel Rosenhall

CalMatters

Gov. Gavin Newsom has now completed three rounds of the annual ritual of deciding what should become law in California by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to hundreds of bills sent to him by the Legislature.

In year one, he used the routine to demonstrate differences from his predecessor, signing dozens of bills that Jerry Brown had vetoed — but also vetoing a greater proportion of bills than Brown typically did.

In year two, with the Legislature largely sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom signed fewer new laws than any governor has in more than 50 years, instead governing through numerous executive orders.

And this year, his third, Newsom used his veto pen at about half the rate as he did in his first year as governor, saying “no” to about 8% of the 836 bills that hit his desk.

In doing so, Newsom largely demonstrated a…

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