The legislative session officially ended at midnight last Friday, ending the opportunity for Governor Brown to sign or veto any remaining bills passed during the recent legislative session.
Of the 1,059 bills sent to him this year, Governor Brown vetoed only 159, or approximately 15 percent. Hundreds of new bills became law, including AB 2590, the restorative justice bill the California Catholic Conference and other faith-based groups worked tirelessly to pass. It adds rehabilitation to the mission statement of California’s prison system.
Notable to report in the final hours before the signing deadline was Governor Brown’s signature on SB 1146. The bill initially featured over-reaching regulations that endangered religious liberty at private universities and opened them up to civil litigation for requiring compliance with faith and values-based practices. Ultimately, the new law now only requires that private schools disclose whether they have applied for an exemption of federal discrimination laws that conflict with religious doctrines. Even though the two-year legislative cycle has ended, the CCC expects this issue will return and will be tracking it in the next session.
It should also be noted that the Governor vetoed SB 1157, which would have preserved in-person visitation in California prisons. While the CCC was steadfast in its commitment to get the bill passed, we are encouraged that Governor Brown has conceded that having an video-only visitation system in prison complicates rehabilitative efforts and has directed a state agency to take up the matter.
Thank you to Catholic Legislative Network members and all who took the time to write and email your legislators about important legislation. We look forward to your continued engagement when the next session opens.