California has had a busy year, with new laws being sent to the governor’s office for either a signature or a veto stamp. Gov. Jerry Brown had a whopping 2,017 pieces of legislation cross his desk for consideration, more than he’s had in the span of one year since at least a decade ago. Of those, he signed 1,016 into law, which Californians can expect to see go into effect January 1.
Women on Boards
One of Brown’s most recent – and controversial – laws makes it mandatory for publicly traded corporations to have a woman sitting on their boards. As LN’s Joe Schaeffer pointed out, this is quite the statement for a governor. This affirmative action move will likely be tossed aside by the next governor. Still, Brown’s propensity to force his political agendas on the populous never ceases to amaze.
No Bail No Jail
Another great bill Brown signed into law takes away bail requirements for criminals. The idea behind Senate Bill 10 is to bring about equality for criminals, despite their income or financial worth. So, if you do the crime, but don’t have the money to buy your way out of jail, no problem. While this is supposed to apply only to non-violent crimes, I’m guessing you can see the slippery slope here. SB-10 doesn’t go into effect until October 2019.
In his efforts to institute stricter gun control laws, Brown signed a law raising the firearms purchasing age to 21, even for rifles and shotguns. Another law “imposes a lifetime weapons ban on most who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and new restrictions on those treated for mental health problems.”
Workplace Conduct – Misconduct
The #MeToo movement was likely the inspiration behind SB-820 which “will allow a complainant to request provisions in settlement agreements to shield his or her identity.” Some businesses were not too thrilled with the law and a coalition of business groups sent a letter to the governor asking him to veto the bill. They wrote: “by potentially eliminating confidentiality, SB 820 exposes employers to a public presumption of guilt even though the decision to settle was not based upon merit at all. To avoid this public image of guilt, SB 820 will drive employers to fight these cases in court instead of resulting in an early resolution.”
No More Straws
Perhaps one of the silliest new laws is the banning of straws in dine-in restaurants. This crazy legislation had some battles to go through before being signed. First, the law called for actually fining and imprisoning waiters who served the plastic devils! Now, the new law will require warnings and a much lower fine if staff offer a straw without the customer requesting it first.
While Brown did veto quite a few proposed laws, there are two that surprised many of his Democratic brothers-in-arms, and pleasantly surprised proponents for stronger immigration control.
SB-174 would have made it legal for nonresidents to sit on decision-making boards, meaning they would have had the power to decide such issues as city and state laws, finances, education, and more. Brown, thankfully, saw the light and realized the power over Californians belonged to Californians.
SB-349 was another leftist attempt to give the state over to the illegal aliens and criminals. If Brown had signed this into law, it would have prevented ICE and other law enforcement from making arrests inside courtrooms.
We’ve only just touched on some of the more noteworthy laws for 2019. For a complete list, visit the California Legislative Information website.