The measure, Senate Bill 799, reached the governor’s desk after the shameful legislative practice of stripping a bill that passed one house of its original content and replacing it with new language. It allows the bill to skip the normal committee vetting process and instead end up on the floor for a vote. Given the Democrat dominance of both houses (super majorities) and their fealty to their unions who provide much of their campaign funds, it sailed through.
The governor, perhaps considering the state’s shaky finances (big deficits are projected in the next couple of years and would be sharpened if the state falls into recession), opted instead for economic prudence. The state unemployment fund, which comes from taxes on employers, owes the federal government $18 million, a number that Newsom cited in his veto message. That stemmed from all of the former employees collecting benefits during the pandemic.
Employers are on the hook for paying back the federal loan, although the state is picking up the interest payments-- $362.7 million to date with another $302 million due this month.
The last thing Newsom needs is for the state’s business climate to get worse.
The other weekend news was his appointment of Maryland resident and former California labor leader Laphonza Butler to fill the remainder of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s term after she died in Washington D.C. at the age of 90. Butler has never run for elected office, but certainly meshes with Newsom’s brand of progressive politics. She had been leading Emily’s List, the political action committee designed to identify and support women candidates who back abortion rights.
Sadly, as has become way too common in Democratic appointments, she was identified as a black, lesbian woman, notching more “firsts” for Newsom’s appointment. When he appointed Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris after she was sworn in as vice-president, Padilla was the first Latin senator from California.
Newsom worked himself into a corner during the recall campaign last year when, under political pressure after the Padilla appointment, he said he’d appoint a black woman to replace Feinstein should she not finish her term.
It’s straight out of President Joe Biden’s playbook who found himself cornered with his stated intention to select a woman of color as his running mate and to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Remember his choice, appellate court judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, declined to define a woman during her confirmation hearing.
And Harris has proven an abject failure and has lower approval numbers than the president’s awful poll numbers. She did so poorly during her presidential campaign in 2019 that she didn’t even make it to the first primary.