Here’s What California Lawmakers Did On Their Last Day Of Session
Speaker 1: 00:00 It was a late night, last night for the California state legislature, lawmakers scrambled to meet a deadline, to approve or reject hundreds of bills to send to governor Newsome's desk. Some of those bills are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or the national call for police reform here to update us on what passed and what did not is Scott rod state government reporter with Capitol public radio Scott, welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. So you were up late last night to paint a picture for us of those final hours of the session. Speaker 2: 00:31 The last day of session is always a bit hectic, but this year it was even more so, um, and that's because they let lawmakers had less time to, um, you know, pass the people's business. And, uh, it was also complicated by Senate Republicans this year, having to vote remotely because one of their members tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days. And so as they were navigating technical glitches and other sorts of complications with social distancing, you know, you could hear the urgency picking up towards the end of the evening and here's assembly member, Ian Calderon, reading off what business was going to be taken up at a very rapid clip, mr. Speaker 3: 01:13 Around, you're recognized for your emotions. I request unanimous consensus to suspend the rules, to allow authors to take up the following bills today without reference to file for the purposes of concurrence and Senate amendments, AB 1685 Rayez, maybe 15, 12, [inaudible], maybe four 34 daily, AB 1561. Christina Garcia, AB 60 57, Eddie Garcia AB 1731, Tasha born Horvath and AB 10 66. Speaker 2: 01:34 And so you can sense that lawmakers were just breathlessly, trying to get through as much as they could. Speaker 1: 01:40 What about one of the major pieces of legislation that got through and was quickly signed by governor Newsome? And it would provide eviction relief to renters affected by COVID-19. That was a big compromise, right? Speaker 2: 01:52 It was a big compromise. So if someone missed a rent payment for related to COVID-19 in the first six months of the pandemic, you will be safe from eviction, but starting in September, renters will have to start paying at least 25% of their rent. Um, evictions can start back up again in the first few months of the new year. Most notably there is not any rent forgiveness. So if someone missed a rent payment previously starting in March of next year, landlords can start taking tenants to small claims court to try to get some of that back. Rent payments, both sides, housing advocates, and landlords had to kind of grit their teeth and, uh, you know, come to the table on this one. And lawmakers throughout the evening were noting that this was not a perfect bill. It was a short term solution, and they're really hoping that the feds will step up in the beginning of the year and offer some additional relief. Speaker 1: 02:47 Okay. And there was also a strong push for police reform legislation, the session, you know, after the police killing of George Floyd and many of those bills failed. I understand, but first tell us about the ones that did advance to the governor's desk. Speaker 2: 03:01 There's a bill that would ban the carotid Holt, which is essentially a type of choke hold that, um, cuts off circulation to someone's brain. And that's raised controversy because it can have pretty detrimental impacts and even lethal impacts if it's not used correctly. And there's also another bill that would remove the handling of certain police shootings from local district attorney offices and hand that over to the state attorney general. And as you noted, there were a number that also didn't pass. Um, most significantly there was a bill that would de-certify police officers for committing certain crimes or for being fired for certain misconduct. And that was something that was kind of a marquee proposal from police reform advocates. And it just simply didn't get a vote. Uh, last night there was also a bill that would have limited and regulated the use of less lethal force during protests, uh, by, by police officers. And that includes things like rubber bullets and tear gas, which we've certainly seen in protests in recent weeks. Speaker 1: 04:09 Okay. And lawmakers also passed a couple of bills aimed at addressing systemic racism, including one by assembly woman, Shirley Weber of San Diego. Speaker 2: 04:17 That's right. The bill would create a task force to review reparations and what that would look like in California. And this is notable because it's something that has evaded lawmakers at the federal level for quite some time. And there was also a bill that would require greater diversity on corporate boards, specifically, uh, individuals from underrepresented communities based on race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation Speaker 1: 04:43 With some other closely watched bills that did not get through Speaker 2: 04:47 Probably the biggest one was pro tem Tony Atkins bill that would allow duplexes on single family parcels. This was an effort to try to address California's severe housing shortage, and it got through the assembly with three minutes to spare before midnight, but there just simply wasn't enough time to get it back to the Senate for a vote that widely was considered to pass easily. There was also a bill that would reduce single use plastic products that many environmental advocates were pushing for and environmentalists were watching closely, but that also simply just didn't get through. Speaker 1: 05:23 Now, the governor has until the end of the month to sign the bills. We've been speaking with Scott rod state government reporter with Capitol public radio. Scott. Thanks so much. Thank you for having me.