Two bills passed that would make it easier to build small apartment buildings in areas where only single-family homes are allowed. The goal is to address a housing shortage in the nation’s most populous state. A group of 241 cities have urged Newsom to veto one bill because it would bypass local zoning laws, with some exceptions.
Whatever the outcome of the recall election, Newsom will likely still have the final say on the hundreds of bills the Legislature put on his desk in the past two weeks. Even if Newsom were to lose the election, by the time his successor took office the deadline for signing or vetoing legislation will have passed. Bills that have passed must be reviewed by the governor before becoming law, unless otherwise noted. Here’s a look at what passed — and what failed — in the California Legislature this year. Two other high-profile housing bills didn’t make it. The bills would have made it easier to turn abandoned shopping malls into apartment buildings. Both bills passed the Senate but did not get a vote in the Assembly.
DRUGS A bill passed that could make California the first state to pay people struggling with drug addiction to stay sober. The treatment, known as “contingency management,” pays people as little as $2 for every negative drug test over the course of a few weeks. The federal government has been doing it for years with military veterans, and research shows it is one of the most effective treatment for drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine.
But bills that would have legalized some psychedelic drugs and given opioid users a place to inject drugs while supervised failed to pass this year. Sen. Scott Wiener, the author of both bills, said he will try again next year. PUBLIC SAFETY Lawmakers approved a bill that would end the careers of bad cops by preventing them from getting hired at other law enforcement agencies. The bill would create a mandatory new license for law enforcement officers. A new disciplinary board could permanently revoke someone’s license with a two-thirds vote.
The Legislature also approved barring police from arresting anyone for loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution, following a debate over whether the move would help or harm sex trafficking victims. But Sen. Scott Wiener then used a procedural move to withhold his bill from the governor’s consideration until next year, saying supporters need more time to make their case about why it’s a good idea.
Jaywalking would be decriminalized under another bill that passed, eliminating a crime that Democratic lawmakers said is arbitrarily enforced against people of color. California would set statewide standards for law enforcement’s use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants during protests under another of the many criminal justice bills considered by lawmakers.
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