(CBS SF) — Let’s face it, voters like Governor Jerry Brown not just for what he does, but for what he stops the legislature from doing. He has positioned himself as the adult in the room, protecting Californians from all the whims of our other elected officials.
Tuesday is the last day for Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature, so let’s take a look at what he has shot down so far.
As of yesterday, Brown had vetoed 52 bills. Laws that he struck down include a $100 million dollar for facility improvements UC and State University programs. Brown said that, in a year when we are spending so much money fighting wildfires, the state just doesn’t have the money.
But money isn’t the explicit reason for most of Brown’s vetoes. Actually, the most common reason Brown has been vetoing bills is that they create unnecessary regulations. For example, Brown vetoed a bill that would add a vision care section to the state’s health care exchange, basically saying, “we don’t need a new bureaucracy” and let’s keep the state’s exchange focused on health care.
Brown is on track to veto about 10 to 15 percent of the bills that come across his desk, which is about average for him this time around as governor, but it is three times higher than when he was first governor from 1975 to 1982. So, maybe he’s gotten tougher or maybe the proposed laws have gotten worse. Hard to say.
Before anyone gets too excited about the vetoes, you should know that Brown has signed almost 500 bills so far. And even though it’s an election year, he hasn’t been to partisan about it. He has vetoed eight of Republican-sponsored bills, but also signed 70 of them into law.
Once the governor vetoes a bill, the legislature has 60 days to override it. A veto override requires a two-thirds majority in the senate and assembly and it never, ever happens. Since 1946, there have only been seven veto overrides in California government. The last one was in 1979. But, for those who want a veto override, there is some hope, remember that in 1979, the Governor was also Jerry Brown.
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