Lawmakers brutally kill hundreds of bills on ‘waiting file’ day
By MADISON HIRNEISEN
CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) – California lawmakers in both chambers considered hundreds of bills in the docket on Thursday, completing a biannual process where tax bills are advanced or killed with little public discussion of why. .
Lawmakers on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees offloaded the backlogs in an hours-long process Thursday, advancing hundreds of measures while quietly condemning others. The process takes place twice a year – once in May and once in August – and bills that pass advance through the Senate and Assembly floors.
Several high-profile bills were advanced on Thursday, including legislation backed by Governor Gavin Newsom to compel people with mental health and addictions to seek treatment through CARE Courts. This legislation, which faced strong opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union and Disability Rights California, will next be heard in the Assembly.
Other bills advanced Thursday by Senate and Assembly lawmakers include:
— Senate Bill 1479 by Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, that would require schools to develop COVID-19 testing plans under the direction of the California Department of Public Health.
— Senate Bill 485 by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, to extend the movie tax credit through 2030.
— Assembly Bill 2223 by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, which would prevent a pregnant person from being “subject to civil or criminal liability” based on the outcome of their pregnancy , including “miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion”.
— An amended version of Assembly Bill 2097 by Assemblyman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, that would prohibit a public body in a county with a population of more than 600,000 from enforcing minimum requirements for parking lot for new developments within half a mile of public transportation.
– An amended version of the 2011 Assembly Bill by Assemblyman Wicks to streamline the approval of 100% affordable housing projects in commercial areas and set out certain labor requirements for developers .
– Senate Bill 834 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, which would revoke the tax-exempt status of California nonprofits that “participate in or incite efforts to overthrow the government of the United States or any government of state”.
Several bills also saw their demise on Thursday, when they were unceremoniously “held in abeyance”.
Bills the committees killed on Thursday included:
— Senator Josh Newman, D-Fullerton’s Senate Bill 1377, which would have allowed a tax deduction equal to court costs and attorney’s fees “included in a taxpayer’s income” in litigation involving allegations of violation of consumer protection.
– Assembly Bill 411 by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, which would have asked voters in 2024 to authorize $600 million in bonds to continue funding affordable housing projects for low-income veterans.
– Senate Bill 1357 by Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, to increase property tax exemptions for disabled veterans.
– Assembly Bill 1995 by Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, that would eliminate monthly Medi-Cal premiums for pregnant residents, children, and the disabled.
State lawmakers have just weeks to consider remaining measures in the Assembly and Senate. The last day for each chamber to pass bills is August 31.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.