I’m more of a policy person, so you’ll enjoy the second and third pieces below. But, politics is also a component of this life in the state legislature. And, the first piece provides one of the two upcoming big political events on the immediate horizon. The California Republican Party’s Convention is in February and will be critical, as a new Chair and Vice Chair will be elected by the delegates.
The upcoming Senate vacancy, due to the election of Sen. Ted Gaines to the State Board of Equalization, will mean a special election in March, similar to the one that brought me to Sacramento in March 2015. When asked about my concerns, I shared them and they even became a portion of the title in “The Capitol Alert” e-mail by The Sacramento Bee, the top portion of which is the first piece below.
Speaking of the possibility of having too many candidates in an effort to succeed Sen. Gaines, Techwire has a piece, the second below, on one of the potential candidates. This year I successfully jockeyed a resolution, ACR 215 on artificial intelligence, for Assemblyman Kevin Kiley on the Senate Floor.
The third piece below, from Capitol Weekly, provides an analytical recap of bills by someone who does a great job of keeping track. As a reminder, I served on the Senate Budget, Governance & Finance and Insurance Committees.
BONUS: You’re invited to visit our District Office for our annual Christmas Open House. The event will be held tomorrow, December 6th, from 4 to 6 p.m. My entire staff will be there to give you an education on what we have been doing and plan on accomplishing in the new year. Dress is Christmas comfortable. (Wearing a Reyn Spooner Christmas shirt will get you an extra cookie.)
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Will California see tax increases? + ‘A real crazy mess’ filling Ted Gaines’ seat
BY BRYAN ANDERSON
Read my lips: No. New. Taxes. Well, maybe not exactly. After speaking with top Democrats, things are a bit more complicated.
CAN WE EXPECT MORE TAXES?
With supermajorities in the Legislature, it will be easier — at least in theory — for Democrats to raise taxes and approve constitutional amendments. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was adamant that tax increases are not on the horizon.
“There’s no plans on the books right now for tax increases,” Rendon said. “There’s no proposals for raising fees, either.”
(Rendon spoke before eight Assembly Democrats introduced Assembly Bill 18 to establish a tax on sales of semi-automatic firearms.)
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins seemed more open to the possibility, saying that “it’s always a matter of discussion.” She expects several bills requiring two-thirds support will be brought to a vote.
“You’re going to see a number of pieces of legislation that are going to be put forward that take a two-thirds vote,” Atkins said. “It’s up for discussion. We will see how our colleagues decide.”
WHO WILL REPLACE TED GAINES?
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills, will be leaving his post to join the state’s Board of Equalization. Candidates have started to emerge publicly. Beth Gaines, Ted Gaines’ wife and a former assemblywoman, is expected to run. She has already received thousands of dollars for a 2020 election campaign. Sen. Gaines all but confirmed his wife’s intention to run, saying, “She is very actively engaged in the Senate campaign.” He said he’d happily support his wife’s candidacy.
Assemblymen Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, and Brian Dahle, R-Bieber are running, as is Rex Hime, President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association. Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates said the party will be “working very hard to get a great candidate.”
The district covers a large portion of northern California, stretching from the Oregon border to the Lake Tahoe area. It is a heavily red seat Republicans are expected to win.
“I’m in the Senate,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, “so I’ve got to worry about who replaces Gaines. That’s gonna be a real crazy mess.”
Kiley: AI, Privacy, Cybersecurity
Among Possible 2019 Legislative
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley says it’s likely the Legislature will scrutinize law and policy around artificial intelligence in 2019, introduce new legislation on privacy, and monitor state cybersecurity.
BY THEO DOUGLAS
Having handily prevailed in his first-ever re-election, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a member of the California Legislative Technology and Innovation Caucus, told Techwire he’s hoping to build on the success of one technology measure in particular which sailed through the Legislature last summer.
Kiley, first elected in 2016, outpolled Democratic challenger Jacalyn “Jackie” Smith by more than 16 percentage points and 30,000 votes on Nov. 6. The Granite Bay Republican said he’s hopeful the Legislature will move forward in 2019 on Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 215 on artificial intelligence. The legislation affirms lawmakers’ support for the 23 Asilomar AI Principles, developed by a group of researchers, economists, ethicists, legal scholars and philosophers in 2017 to guide the responsible development of AI. Kiley introduced the resolution, and both houses passed it unanimously.
Among its 23 precepts, members convened in Asilomar, Calif., said that the goal of AI research should be to create “beneficial intelligence”; that research funding should follow AI investments to ensure its positive use and ask “thorny” questions on law, ethics and computer science; that using AI on personal data shouldn’t curtail real or perceived liberties; and that “an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons should be avoided.”
Kiley, who represents the Sixth Assembly District, said the Legislature will “look at how to build on that” next year and called the matter “very timely” following the recent Little Hoover Commission report on AI — which mentioned Kiley’s resolution.
“We’re exploring a number of ways we might follow up there and really move that conversation forward so the state can take full advantage of the tremendous possibilities of AI,” Kiley said. He could be viewing tech and innovation from the upper house of the Legislature before too much longer; Kiley has announced his intentions to run for the state Senate District 1 seat held by Ted Gaines, who was elected to the State Board of Equalization. The exact timing of a special election awaits Gaines’ expected resignation from the state Senate in January. But a staff member in the office of Assemblyman Evan Low, caucus co-chair, affirmed that because the caucus is bicameral and includes Assembly members and state senators, Kiley would be able to remain a member of the Tech Caucus, as it’s known.
The assemblyman said it’s not yet clear how caucus members will work with incoming Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who will take office in January, and indicated much is “uncertain” about how the state’s new elected leader will approach innovation and technology and what his priorities will be. Kiley said that he thinks his own work on tech in the Assembly has “provided a strong foundation to move forward” and that state senators who were receptive to the 23 principles — he named Sens. Bill Monning, D-Carmel; John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa; and Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara — “would make good partners.”
State cybersecurity remains vitally important as well, particularly as threats and bad actors continue to change course and present new challenges, the legislator said, noting the state has made good progress in ordering its own cybersecurity infrastructure. He pointing to the creation in 2015 by Governor’s Executive Order of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC), charged with improving coordination and strategy and reducing the likelihood and severity of cyberattacks.
Kiley, who is also co-chairman of the Assembly’s privacy committee, said he expects a number of bills to be introduced next year that touch on privacy issues and information security. But he said it will be important for legislators to review proposed policy carefully to avoid “frivolous litigation” that creates vague standards and actually misses the mark on safeguarding privacy.
By the numbers: A look at the 2017-18 Legislature
BY CHRIS MICHELI
With the recently concluded 2017-18 legislative session, it is valuable to look at some of the key data, including bill introductions, the fate of those bills, the work of the committees, the lawmakers’ legislation and the actions of the governor.
So let’s crunch some numbers: We’ll look at the Senate first.
In the Senate, 694 bills were introduced in 2018. Of those, 518 were passed by the Senate, while only six were defeated on the Senate floor. So, 74.6 percent of introduced bills passed out of the Senate, while just 0.8 percent of introduced bills failed passage on the floor.
At the conclusion of 2018, 52 Senate bills had been vetoed during the year—7.5 percent of introduced bills were vetoed—and 356 bills were chaptered in 2018, meaning that 51.3 percent of bills introduced in the Senate were enacted into law.
That brings the total number of Senate bills introduced in the 2017-18 Session to 1,511. Of those, 647 were signed into law (42.8 percent), and 86 were vetoed (5.5 percent).
By way of background, 817 bills were introduced in the Senate in 2017. Of those, 514 bills were passed by the Senate, while only three were refused passage on the Senate floor. So, 63 percent of introduced bills passed out of the Senate, while 0.4 percent of introduced bills failed passage on the Senate floor.
At the conclusion of 2017, 34 Senate bills were vetoed in 2017 (4 percent of introduced bills were vetoed), and 291 bills were chaptered in 2017. That means 35.6 percent of introduced bills were enacted into law.
2018 data: CommitteesIn terms of bills being considered by standing committees in the just-concluded 2018 session, the following five committees had the highest number of original committee references, which means they were the first stop for bills assigned by the Rules Committee:
- Public Safety, 111
- Budget, 108
- Governance & Finance, 105
- Education, 88
- Transportation & Housing, 79
The five committees with the highest number of senate bills and assembly bills referred:
- Education, 313 (88 + 225)
- Public Safety, 288 (111 + 177)
- Transportation & Housing, 237 (79 + 158)
- Health, 226 (77 + 149)
- Governance & Finance, 223 (105 + 118)
2017 data: CommitteesIn 2017, the three standing committees with the highest number of original committee references were:
- Education, 166
- Public Safety, 146
- Transportation & Housing, 140
The committees with the lowest number of original committee references were:
- Agriculture, 17
- Insurance, 19
- Veterans Affairs, 19
Senate bills and authorship
The most bills introduced during the 2017-18 session were 49 by Jerry Hill, followed by Ricardo Lara with 45.
Eleven senators introduced 40 bills (Cathleen Galgiani, Steve Glazer, Ed Hernandez, Bob Hertzberg, Connie Leyva, John Moorlach, Janet Nguyen, Richard Pan, Anthony Portantino, Mark Stone and Scott Wiener), while five senators introduced 39 bills (Ben Allen, Steven Bradford, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Nancy Skinner and Henry Stern). Senator Bill Dodd introduced 38.
2017 data: AuthorsThe most bills were introduced by Ricardo Lara with 29. Galgiani introduced 28; Jerry Hill had 26; and five senators introduced 24 bills each (Bradford, Glazer, Leyva, Nguyen and Portantino).
Some 1,531 bills were introduced in the Assembly in 2018. Of those, 942 bills were passed, and 16 were refused passage. So, 61.5 percent of introduced bills passed out of the Assembly, while just 1 percent of introduced bills failed passage on the Assembly floor.
At the conclusion of the 2018 session, 149 Assembly bills were vetoed during the year (9.7 percent of introduced bills were vetoed), and 660 were chaptered in 2018 (43 percent of introduced bills were enacted into law).
That brings the total number of Assembly bills introduced in the 2017-18 session to 3,264. Of those, 1,228 were signed into law (37.6 percent), and 233 were vetoed (7.1 percent).
As a comparison, 1,733 bills were introduced in the Assembly in 2017. Of those, 970 bills were passed, while only nine were refused passage on the Assembly floor. That left 763 bills as two-year measures which were considered in January 2018. So, 56 percent of introduced bills passed out of the Assembly, while just 0.5 percent of introduced bills failed passage.
At the conclusion of the 2017 session, 84 assembly bills were vetoed (4.8 percent of introduced bills were vetoed), and 568 were chaptered in 2017 (32.7 percent of introduced bills were enacted into law).
2018 data: Assembly policy committees and bills referredIn terms of assembly bills being considered by standing committees in the concluded 2018 session, the five committees with the highest number of original committee references were:
- Public safety, 294
- Health, 219
- Education, 210
- Transportation, 182
- Judiciary, 181
The five committees with the total number of assembly and senate bills referred:
- Public safety, 384 (294 + 90)
- Health, 300 (219 + 81)
- Education, 260 (210 + 50)
- Judiciary, 247 (181 + 66)
- Transportation, 233 (182 + 51)
In terms of bills considered by standing committees in 2017, the committees with the highest number of original committee references were:
- Public Safety, 195
- Health, 147
- Education, 140
- Judiciary, 133
- Environmental Safety
The committees with the lowest number of original committee references were: AESTIM (nine), Aging (12), Communications (13) and Banking (18).
For the just-concluded 2017-18 legislative session, in terms of authors and number of bills, the most bills introduced were by Rep. Phil Ting with 102 bills (including budget-related measures).
Seven Assembly members introduced 50 bills (Richard Bloom, Rob Bonta, Autumn Burke, Eduardo Garcia, Gonzalez Fletcher, Marc Levine and Blanca Rubio). Seven assembly members had 49 bills (Joaquin Arambula, Anna Caballero, Monique Limó, Evan Low, Bill Quirk, Miguel Santiago and Jim Wood), and three assembly members introduced 48 bills (Mike Gipson, Jacqui Irwin and Patrick O’Donnell).
In terms of authors and bills in 2017, the most bills were introduced by Ting with 78 (but that number included the budget trailer bills). Thereafter, Bloom introduced 32 bills; Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced 31; Levine introduced 30; and, four assembly members introduced 29 bills each (Caballero, Frazier, Gipson and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher).
Actions on bills by the governor
There were 1,217 bills that reached the governor’s desk in 2018 out of 2,225 bills introduced (Senate, 694; Assembly 1,531). So, 55 percent of the bills introduced made it to the governor’s desk. Forty-five percent of the bills introduced got signed into law, while 9 nine of the bills introduced got vetoed.
Signed bills: 1,016
- 5 percent of the bills were signed
- 65 percent of the signed bills were assembly bills
- 79 percent of the assembly bills were authored by Democrats
- 14 percent of the assembly bills signed were authored by Republicans
- 7 percent of the assembly bills were committee bills
- 35 percent of the signed bills were senate bills
- 77 percent of the senate bills signed were authored by Democrats
- 13 percent of the senate bills signed were authored by Republicans
- 10 percent of the senate bills signed were committee bills
Vetoed bills: 201
- 5 percent of the bills were vetoed
- 74 percent of the vetoed bills were assembly bills
- 84 percent of those vetoed bills authored by Democrats
- 13 percent of the assembly bills vetoed were authored by Republicans
- 3 percent of the assembly bills vetoed were committee bills
- 26 percent of the vetoed bills were senate bills
- 94 percent of the senate bills vetoed were authored by Democrats
- 6 percent of the senate bills vetoed were authored by Republicans
During the 2017 session, 1,733 total bills were introduced in the Assembly (1,687 by the Feb. 17 introduction deadline). About 37.5 percent of the introduced bills got to the governor’s desk, with 32.7 percent of the introduced bills getting signed, and 4.8 percent getting vetoed.
A total of 817 total bills were introduced in the Senate in 2017 (808 by the Feb. 17 introduction deadline), while 39.9 percent of the introduced bills got to the governor’s desk with 35.7 percent of the introduced bills getting signed and 4.2 percent getting vetoed.
In 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown acted on 977 bills that were on his desk during that session. He signed 859 bills (88 percent) and he vetoed 12 percent of those bills (118 out of 977 bills).
In 2017, of the 859 bills that the governor signed, 567 were Assembly bills and 292 were Senate bills. Of the 567 Assembly bills, 85 percent were authored by Democrats and 15 percent were authored by Republicans. Of the 292 Senate measures signed into law, 86 percent were authored by Democrats, and 14 percent were authored by Republicans.
In 2017, of the 118 bills that the governor vetoed, 84 were Assembly bills, and 34 were Senate bills. Of the 84 Assembly bills that were vetoed, 87 percent were authored by Democrats, and 13 percent were authored by Republicans. Of the 34 Senate bills, 82 percent were authored by Democrats, and 18 percent were authored by Republicans.
In 2016, Gov. Brown acted on 789 bills that were on his desk during September. He vetoed roughly 18.25 percent of those, and he allowed one bill to become law without his signature. Including all the bills acted upon during the 2016 session, the governor vetoed 159 out of 1,059 bills, a 15 percent veto rate.
Governor’s vetoes: Historical data
To put this year’s gubernatorial bill actions in context, here are veto numbers from five prior governors.
- Between 2011 and 2018, Brown vetoed between 10.7 percent and 16.5 percent of the bills
- Between 2004 and 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed between 22.2 percent and 35 percent of the bills
- Between 1999 and 2003, Gov. Gray Davis vetoed between 6 percent and 25 percent of the bills
- Between 1991 and 1998, Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed between 8.6 percent and 24.5 percent of the bills
- Between 1983 and 1990, Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed between 9.5 percent and 20.3 percent of the bills
- Between 1975 and 1982, Brown vetoed between 1.8 percent and 7.9 percent of the bills
Bills getting to the governor’s desk: Historical data
During the last eight years that Gov. Brown has served in office, the number of bills reaching his desk has ranged from a low of 870 bills during his first year in office to a high of 1,217, his final year in office. His veto rate has been a low of 10.7 percent (his third year in office) to a high of 16.5 percent (his last year in office).
To put Brown’s actions in context, here are actions by Brown and five prior governors.
- Between 2004 and 2010, Schwarzenegger got between 893 and 1,265 bills on his desk
- Between 1999 and 2003, Davis got between 967 and 1,454 bills on his desk
- Between 1991 and 1998, Wilson got between 1,075 and 1,710 bills on his desk
- Between 1983 and 1990, Deukmejian got between 1,455 and 2,143 bills on his desk
- Between 1975 and 1982, Brown got between 1,221 and 1,674 bills on his desk
Total bill introductions: Historical data, year by year
Total bill introductions: Two-year sessions over two decades
2017-18: 3,624 Assembly bills, 1,511 Senate bills (4,775 total)
2015-16: 2,915 ABs and 1,481 SBs (4,396 total)
2013-14: 2,766 ABs and 1,467 SBs (4,233 total)
2011-12: 2,700 ABs and 1,580 SBs (4,280 total)
2009-10: 2,799 ABs and 1,495 SBs (4,294 total)
2007-08: 3,084 ABs and 1,781 SBs (4,865 total)
2005-06: 3,076 ABs and 1,853 SBs (4,929 total)
2003-04: 3,118 ABs and 1,918 SBs (5,036 total)
2001-02: 3,061 ABs and 2,101 SBs (5,162 total)
1999-00: 2,943 ABs and 2,206 SBs (5,149 total)
1997-98: 2,817 ABs and 2,242 SBs (5,059 total)
1995-96: 3,504 ABs and 2,178 SBs (5,682 total)
1993-94: 3,838 ABs and 2,138 SBs (5,976 total)
Editor’s Note: Chris Micheli is a principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He may be contacted at (916) 448-3075.
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