Climate change package, gun sales tax, fail, Newsom’s Care Court proposal passes
By Katy Grimes, California Globe
The California Legislature wrapped up the 2022 session after midnight. There was drama, mean Tweets, arm twisting, heated language, and some surprises.
The members of the California Legislature rejected a bill by former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to allow legislative staff to unionize. Capitol staff are at-will employees and will remain so for now.
Concealed Carry restrictions: SB 918 by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada-Flintridge) which sought to remove the right to protect oneself and family by preventing law abiding citizens, regardless of their background, from being able to carry a firearm outside the home failed to pass. The bill would have doubled the cost for licensing, raised the minimum age to carry from 18 to 21, added 16 hours of training requirement, and set stricter background checks including ongoing fingerprinting, a minimum of three character references, and a three-year review of public social media posts. The bill also would have also prohibited a legal CCW holder from carrying in the “sensitive areas” including Anywhere alcohol is served, Public transit, all airport buildings, hospitals, schools, medical facilities, nursing homes, parks, and more.
Diablo Canyon saved – the lights will stay on for now: Diablo Canyon currently powers 9% of the state, and in the throws of this summer heat wave, lawmakers saw fit to save the nuclear power plant from further decommissioning. This wasn’t likely altruism on behalf of lawmakers who have pushed every imaginable climate change clean green renewable energy bill recently – most lawmakers remember the last governor (Gray Davis) who was blamed for the rolling blackouts and recalled by angry voters.
Voters will blame Democrats for loss of electricity as CalISO warns the electricity grid cannot handle the load. We’ve been down this road before with power shortages and rolling blackouts – almost entirely since the California Legislature and the last three governors started imposing absurd “climate change” laws on the state, weakening the electricity grid and putting all Californians in jeopardy.
Environmental Justice for Oil and Gas Industry: Lawmakers approved a bill to require at least 3200 feet between new oil wells and homes, schools, hospitals and other public buildings. Senate Bill 1137, gut-and-amend legislation by Democrat Senators Lena Gonzalez and Monique Limón, would require 3,200-foot mandatory setbacks around California oil and gas wells. Expect legal challenges to this bill if Gov. Newsom signs it in to law.
Here’s the final vote – remember these names:
Transgender Children Sanctuary State: Senate Bill 107, by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), will make California a refuge state for transgender children and their families from other states that criminalize youth gender-affirming care treatments.
If the governor signs SB 107 into law, it will prohibit health care providers and service plans from releasing medical information related to someone allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care in response to a criminal or civil action, including a foreign subpoena, based on another state’s law that authorizes a person to bring a civil or criminal action against a person or entity that allows a child to receive gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care. Law enforcement agencies would, as a result, be prohibited from arresting or extraditing the child or the people who approved the gender-affirming care due to an out-of-state law against gender-affirming care. Yikes.
Vaccines for kids without parental consent fails: San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener pulled SB 866, co-authored by Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) outraged parents across the state. The bill to allow children as young as 12, then 15 after amendments, to take vaccines without parental consent.
““The anti-vaxxers may have prevailed in this particular fight, but the broader fight for science and health continues. This coalition isn’t going anywhere,” Sen. Wiener said.
mental health courts: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s controversial bill, Senate Bill 1338, to push more homeless people into mental health treatment passed the Legislature.
Newsom’s CARE Court proposal creates mental health courts in all 58 counties, and requires counties to provide treatment for those suffering from psychotic disorders and those on the schizophrenia spectrum, the Sacramento Bee reported. “Disability rights advocates have strongly opposed CARE Court, which they say would force treatment on people who may not want it, which could result in poor outcomes.”
“Without Surety Bail in CA the Defendants in custody will only have CASH BAIL or remain in custody as their choices. Who has $50k in Cash for a Felony Domestic Violence charge?” one bail agent told the Globe.
Even more interesting is this Tweet from Esteban Nunez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez who was convicted for the killing of Luis Dos Santos. Nunez and his friends jumped and stabbed a group of Mesa College students in front of a San Diego State University gym in 2008, after they were turned away from a fraternity party, investigators reported. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted Nunez’s sentence from 16 years to seven.
Nunez is now the director of Advocacy for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, according to his Twitter bio, which is really interesting because according to District Attorneys across the state, zero bail seems to ensure recidivism. Yolo County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Aeillo explained, “It’s a get out of jail free card,” Aeillo said. “There’s no real risk assessment done and there’s no consequences because they’re not even brought back to court for four to five months.” She noted that zero bail poses a risk to public safety.
Gun sales tax fails: AB 1227 by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-Marin) proposed a 10% excise tax on the sales of handguns, and 11% on sales of rifles and shotguns, ammunition, and other parts used to build firearms.
This was Levin’s third attempt to impose a hefty tax on the sale of firearms – all three have now failed. Lawmakers opposed to the bill questioned why the state would tax law-abiding citizens as if they are criminals.
Gun groups vowed to sue the state if AB 1227 was signed into law.
Gov. Newsom’s climate change bill package was not as successful as he expected. AB 2133, an add-on to AB 32 (2006) would have required the California Air Resources Board to ensure that statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are cut to at least 55% below the 1990 level by no later than December 31, 2030.
Newsom’s senior counselor explained their “climate package” in a Tweet: