Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Governor's pen hovers over hundreds more bills

Gov. Jerry Brown has until midnight Sunday to act on hundreds of bills sent to him by the Legislature.
Gov. Jerry Brown has until midnight Sunday to act on hundreds of bills sent to him by the Legislature.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Governor Jerry Brown has until midnight Sunday to act on more than 300 bills that remain on his desk. Typically, some of the more controversial bills still await his signature or veto.  

The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights provides overtime pay and meal and rest breaks for an estimated 200,000 caregivers, childcare providers, and house cleaners.   

The Service Employees International Union supports AB 889. The California Chamber of Commerce opposes it.

Brown needs the support of both groups to pass his tax initiative, Proposition 30, in November. SEIU has donated heavily to the measure and has a lot of foot soldiers to deploy in the effort. The Cal Chamber has remained neutral on Prop 30, so far.

In a statement Wednesday, the Chamber warned that AB 889 “would result in unreasonable, non-sensical regulations that would overwhelm working families with small children.”

“It makes it tough when you have so many friends,”  says Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former press secretary, Aaron McLear. He's now one of the spokesmen for the "No on Prop 30" campaign.  “Typically someone in his [Brown's] position would be weighing everything in relation to his tax hike.” 

But Steve Maviglio, a political consultant who worked with former Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, says nothing’s a given with the governor: “'Unpredictable' should be Brown’s trademark.”

Maviglio added: “Last year, Brown said ‘There shouldn’t be a law for every problem,’ but this year he’s signing most of the bills.”

Maviglio says Brown could be using the old canoe strategy: paddle a little to the right, a little bit to the left.

But it’s unclear how the Governor will paddle around the Trust Act, which lets California opt out of a portion of the Federal Safe Communities Act. AB 1081 would require police officers to waive a federal immigration hold for someone who’s committed only a minor infraction. They would still have to detain someone who’s charged or convicted of a serious or violent felony.

Immigration advocates and Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa support the Trust Act, but Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County and the California State Sheriffs’ Association want Brown to veto the bill. The Governor needs strong law enforcement support to pass Prop 30. Then again, public safety officials have a vested interest in getting some of the new revenues that would come with the measure's passage.

Maviglio says two bills he thinks Brown is likely to sign are SB 1172, the ban on conversion therapy for teens and children, and SB 1476, which allows children to have more than two legal parents.

Torrance Democrat Sen. Ted Lieu says he wrote SB 1172 to prevent psychologists from prescribing therapy designed to have children under 18 change their sexual orientation.

San Francisco Democrat Sen. Mark Leno says he wrote SB 1476 to allow more than two parents to share legal and physical custody of a child after hearing of a case in which a girl ended up in foster care after one mother was hospitalized and the other imprisoned.  The courts wouldn’t allow the girl’s biological father to take care of her.