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By Tim Hunt

The governor's busy veto pen

Uploaded: Oct 13, 2015

Governor Brown finished up the first year of the Legislature's two-year session by finalizing his actions on the 941 bills sent to his desk.
Some were very serious—the assisted suicide bill, the climate change (global warming) bill, a number of bills dealing with drought and water issues-- to name a few.
The governor exercised his veto to demonstrate to the Legislature that he expected action on both health care costs and funding for MediCal as well as a long range plan for dealing with transportation funding to both maintain existing roads and to expand them.
The governor has called special sessions that are currently in recess to focus on these two years. Without Republican cooperation, there are not enough Democratic votes to raise the gasoline tax, add a new registration fee for electric cars (a good idea) or direct truck weight fees into the transportation fund.
A drought-related bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto will stop communities from forbidding residents to install artificial turf instead of other landscaping. The plastic turf has improved so significantly that it is an excellent choice for heavily used athletic facilities as well as pleasing visually. It's no bargain in hot weather such as this week.
One bad piece of legislation that was signed will make voter registration automatic when a person interacts with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. The person would have to opt out of registration to avoid being automatically added to the voter rolls.
If the goal is simply more voters, you like it. If you are concerned about informed voters, adding people to the voting rolls who have no clue about the issues other than what they read on Yahoo or heard on Comedy Central or similar, you cannot like the new law. Conveniently, it will take effect Jan. 1, 2016 in time for lots of young folks to be added to the rolls in time for the Presidential General Election in November.
Others were pretty frivolous.
To appease the PC crowd, the four public schools in the state that have been using Redskins as a nickname for their teams will have to change their monikers. It is the type of bill stronger leadership would never have seen the light of day for a committee hearing.
The governor vetoed 14.13 percent of the bills he considered—the second highest total since he was elected for the second set of terms in 2010. In all, including both terms, he has vetoed just 7 percent of the bills that hit his desk.
Comparing governors, the top veto governors were Republican George Deukmejian and pseudo-Republican the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Deukmejian vetoed 2,298 in eight years, while Arnold turned aside 1,970. Imagine if he truly could have governed with conservative principles.
Thanks to the state Senate Office of Research for the summaries.