The 2021-2022 legislative session is history --- we adjourned around 1:30 a.m. on September 1st. As usual, some of the most significant legislation was delayed until the last days, with votes sometimes occurring late at night and in the wee hours of the morning.
In light of continuing attempts to place Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) in rural San Diego County, I was a big supporter SB 1034 which creates more structure and transparency to make local authorities and stakeholders participants in the SVP placement process. I’m happy to report that SB 1034 passed without opposition.
Other significant bills approved in the last days include AB 1314, setting up a “Feather Alert” system for missing Native Americans, specifically women and children, similar to the Amber and Silver Alerts we’ve become familiar with. Another bill receiving final legislative approval, SB 846, directs the California Public Utilities Commission to extend the Diablo Canyon Power Plant beyond its scheduled retirement in 2025, making more electricity available for California.
Firearms-related legislation included SB 918 and AB 1227. Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling about concealed carry permits, SB 918 included a long list of locations where firearms would still not be permitted. AB 1227 would have added new excise taxes on the purchase of firearms and ammunition – I joined the majority to vote down both bills.
As a result of strong public opposition, SB 866, allowing minors 15 years and older to consent to being vaccinated without parental approval, was withdrawn from consideration by its author. SB 300, to reduce criminal penalties for major participants in serious felonies like murder or kidnapping, was also withdrawn by its author before a final vote.
This year, just over 2,000 bills were introduced and about 900 made it to the Governor’s desk. He has acted on just over 200 -- about 700 remain. As always, he has the final say.