Skelton: Newsom made good decisions on these 5 simple bills

Not all Sacramento laws are complicated, triumphant, and understandable only by special interests. Some are simple and sensible. Other bills are simple and nutritious.

Gavin Newsom acted on all three variants after the Democrat-dominated legislature sent him 836 measures – mostly complex and triumphant – before adjourning for the year last month.

Newsom ended up signing 770 bills last Saturday and vetoing 66. Forget the complicated measures for now. Here are five simple bills, both sensible and wholesome. No one is a high priority in the grand scheme of life. But they would directly affect people – or if not vetoed.

fishing license

It was a very low-profile bill. You’ve probably never heard of it. Only the more than 1 million Californians who buy fishing licenses annually will be directly affected. But they will appreciate it.

This changes the duration of the fishing license from the calendar year to 365 days. in present, if you don’t buy the $52.66 license until your family vacation begins in July, it’s only good for the remaining six months of the calendar year. Under the new law, it will not expire for 12 months.

“You’ll get what you paid for: a one-year fishing license,” says assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), the bill’s author.

After all, car registrations are good for 365 days. So are Triple-A memberships. It’s about time there are fishing licenses too.

Fourteen other states have year-round fishing licenses. California would be many years earlier, except for two reasons:

The state fish and wildlife department feared that it would lead to loss of revenue. But now the department realizes it can sell even more licenses because they are worth more.

The previous legislation was done by Republicans. Democrats weren’t letting him own a popular bill.

No legislators voted against this measure on any committee or floor.

ghost guns

It was a gun control bill that made so much sense that the National Rifle Assn. Didn’t even oppose it. Nor any gun lobby. No legislator – even a Republican one – voted against it.

The measure adds so-called ghost guns to weapons that police can seize from anyone who has been “red flagged” by a judge. In many cases, it is a gunman under a restraining order due to domestic violence. Or maybe he is threatening people and talking about killing them.

Ghost guns are usually homemade from parts ordered online. They are usually unregistered and untraceable. And until this bill, they were not among the firearms that could be confiscated by the police.

“If it looks like a gun and shoots like a gun, it should be treated like a gun,” says Assemblywoman Coty Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), the bill’s author. “We need to close this loophole. When I found out we hadn’t already, I was shocked and horrified.

“Ghost guns are turning up at crime scenes all over the country.”


A bill to decriminalize jaywalking was thankfully vetoed by Newsom.

The governor said the measure by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) “is worsening the safety of California pedestrians.”

No joke.

Look, I don’t like to walk to the end of a long block to cross the street at a stop sign. But the answer is more stop signs and crosswalks – don’t bother motorists.

There are enough dangers to worry about for a commuter driving home at night, without the sudden emergence in the headlights of a barely visible Jaywalker in dark clothing. By then it may be too late to stop. And if the car stops, there may be a collision from behind.

Sure, under the bill, Jaywalkar could not legally cross the road in traffic. But humans make mistakes. A car or truck cannot be seen by a pedestrian, especially if the vehicle is moving at high speed.

It was one of the nutritional bills.


This was another important bill, which was vetoed by Newsom.

The measure, by assemblywoman Tasha Borner Horvath (D-Encinitas), would have allowed cyclists to treat stop signs as “yield” markers. If there was no traffic they would have reduced but did not stop completely before the crossing.

But it means nothing more than the Jaywalkar Bill. people make mistakes. Sometimes they don’t see what they don’t want to see. Or they recklessly try to beat the odds.

Newsom said the measure could be “particularly for children who do not know how to judge vehicle speed or take the necessary precautions for traffic.”

Sounds like a father with four bicyclists.

leaf blower

It’s a bill that’s relatively simple and — once you think about it — sensible. Yet no Republican voted for it.

Beginning in 2024, you won’t be able to buy a new gas-powered leaf blower, lawn mower, small chainsaw or handheld generator in California.

This is partly understandable because by 2035, we won’t be allowed to buy new automobiles that burn gasoline in California. So why not start with leaf blowers and lawn mowers and go with a full battery?

The bill’s author, assemblyman Mark Berman (D-Menlo Park), says operating one of these small engines—less than 25 horsepower—produces more air pollution in an hour than driving a car from Los Angeles to Denver. .

A Berman colleague says a gardener who uses a gas-powered mower or blows leaves has twice the risk of getting cancer as the average homeowner.

California is the first state to phase out these smog creators and health hazards.

Newsom likes first. And being the first in this is a good thing.

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