With a final flurry of bill signings and vetoes by Gov. Jerry Brown this past weekend, the 2017 legislative session is officially behind us. So who came out ahead? (Not that it’s a competition!)
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, led the pack with 16 new laws chaptered apiece, according to a list of legislative actions provided by the Governor’s Office.
Lara carried bill packages this session to expand protections for juvenile offenders and immigrants, including a guarantee that students whose parents are deported can continue to enroll in California schools. He also authored legislation to move up California’s next presidential primary to March, an effort to give the state a bigger say in choosing the nominee. But two of Lara’s most high-profile proposals – a statewide single-payer health care system and staffing requirements for dialysis clinics – were shelved in the Assembly.
Among Low’s successes were bills creating a tax checkoff to fund rape kit testing and loosening regulations on taxis so they can better compete with ride-hailing services. He carried a handful of measures making changes to state and local elections, though legislation to lower the voting age to 17 and make the November election a state holiday fell short.
Two dozen more lawmakers got at least 10 of their bills signed this session, including Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, with 14. Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Assemblymen Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, each scored 13. Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, exceeded the rest of his Republican colleagues with 11 bills signed.
Another 11 legislators came up entirely empty-handed. Eight were Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, and three were Democrats: Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who carried no legislation; Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles, who was elected to Congress midway through the session; and Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda.
As for vetoes, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, took the crown with five, ranging from paid maternity leave for teachers to workplace protections for reproductive health decisions.
“I’m good with that. If we aren’t having our bills vetoed, we aren’t reaching far enough,” she wrote on Twitter. And she likely won’t be crying too hard; she got nine measures signed by Brown this year.