What Bills Did Governor Jerry Brown Veto in 2017?

Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown of California applied his signature to 859 bills in 2017. This changed the bills into laws, and many of these new laws were celebrated by the press and various advocates. However, did you ever stop to think about the number of bills that Governor Jerry Brown refused to sign into law? If you are curious, that number is 118. What are some of these bills? It might be interesting to find out.

Governor Brown refused to sign a bill that forced children to wear helmets while skiing. The bill had punishments attached for violators, but Governor Brown didn't think the bill was necessary. Regarding the decision, he wrote, "Not every human problem deserves a law." He also refused to add increased penalties for people convicted of assaulting utility workers, and he vetoed a bill penalizing false advertising in pet sales.

Analysts of Governor Brown's administration say there is a theme at work here. They see Governor Brown as someone who likes to put the brakes on the enthusiasm of legislators. Many times, Governor Brown will explain his vetoes by pointing out that existing laws are usually enough to handle the problems the bills are trying to solve.

Governor Brown also a vetoed a bill regarding penalties for sexual harassment on college campuses. While he understood the bill enjoyed enthusiasm, he explained that depriving a student of his or her right to a college education should not be done lightly. Governor Brown also vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking at all state parks and beaches. Perhaps voicing his inner libertarian views, Governor Brown pointed out the bill restricted the rights of smokers. He wondered where exactly would smokers be able to smoke in California after even deserted beaches were unavailable?

The most visible veto was probably the bill involving a bill mandating that presidential candidates release their tax returns. Governor Brown understood the bill was primarily directed at Donald Trump, and he knew that certain people would love to see Trump squirm at being mandated to release his tax returns. However, Governor Brown explained that he feared the bill was a slippery slope. The veto was met by disappointment from many, but Governor Brown felt he made the right call.

Many people rightly pay attention to all of the bills a politician signs into law. However, it is always worthwhile to examine the bills that were vetoed.