Appropriations Committee: Where Good Bills Die and Bad Bills Skate
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
There are only 10 working days left in the 2023/24 Legislative session and would it surprise anyone that there are still roughly 780 bills that have yet to be acted upon?
There are a lot of phrases that I could use to describe the California legislature and “planning ahead” sure isn’t one of them. I doubt that there is an elected body more proficient at kicking the can down the road than the folks that sit in the fancy chairs at the Capitol.
As of this very moment, with less than two weeks before the gavel comes down and the Legislature adjourns, there are close to 800 bills currently awaiting action (there could be more but my eyes started to hurt at 360). There are over 400 bills before the Senate Appropriations Committee alone and over 300 Senate bills in Assembly Appropriations.
This is nuts, but this is what happens every year. It’s by design…
Procrastinating is a powerful tool of elected officials. Bills are routinely “put over” until the next hearing – and the next. This happens the second policy committees begin to meet in the early spring and continues right through to when fiscal bills are sent to Appropriations (where the issues of costs are supposed to be debated). After all, the less time there is to consider the merits – and costs of a bill – the less time there is for debate and argument. There’s little gumption to drill down on a single bill in the midst of hundreds and it’s far easier to get a bill to slip through the process when members and staff are tired, hungry and don’t want to read volumes of analyses.
The majority of the bills GOC is tracking are currently on the Appropriations Committees “Suspense File” (where the bills automatically go if the costs are above a specific threshold). They will be voted off with zero presentation or testimony and there will be no debate – no matter the actual costs of the legislation. Imagine – no conversation on the vast costs of SB 2’s “sensitive places”, or the financial hit which would be caused by AB 1133 which mandates the Department of Justice create new “standardized” CCW curriculum. Nor will there be any discussion on the costs of microstamping requirements.
We will know late Friday (9/1) what bills made the cut and which ones didn’t – we’d like to think we’d hear the death rattle on each and every one but at the end of the day, we are realists. Stay tuned – we’ll be reporting on those bills that will make their final appearance on the Senate and Assembly Floors before the deadline of September 14, 2023.
FOR DETAILED INFO ON GOC’S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES, CHECK OUT OUR LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER here.
AB 28 | Gabriel (D)
Creates expansive, new excise tax on both firearms/ammunition sold in California.
AB 574 | Jones-Sawyer (D)
Mandates gun buyers confirm/check possession of all owned firearms on DROS form.
AB 725 | Lowenthal (D)
Redefines a firearm to include frames, receivers and precursor parts for the purposes of reporting lost or stolen guns.
AB 1089 |Gipson (D)
Prohibits the sale, purchase or possession of a CNC milling machine that has the primary or intended purpose of manufacturing firearms.
AB 1133 | Schiavo (D)
Requires DOJ to create a state-approved and standardized curriculum for CCWs.
AB 1406 | McCarty (D)
Permits DOJ to delay delivery of a firearm for 30 additional days.
AB 1420 | Berman (D)
Grants DOJ more authority to inspect and assess fines on gun dealers.
AB 1483 | Valencia (D)
Expands the 30-day prohibition on the purchase of firearms to include precursor parts.
AB 1587 | Ting (D)
Mandates retailers to assign a special “code” indicating gun purchases.
AB 1598 | Berman (D)
Requires DOJ to update safety test form with “risks” of owning a gun.
SB 2 | Portantino (D)
Massively restricts the ability of CCW holders to carry in most areas of the state by establishing “sensitive places” criteria.
SB 368 | Portantino (D)
Mandates that temporary transfers of a firearm for storage to be limited to that of a licensed dealer to prevent a potential suicide.
SB 452 | Blakespear (D)
Prohibits a licensed firearms dealer from selling, offering for sale a semiautomatic pistol unless it has been verified as microstamping-enabled.