With the threat of a Republican-led recall behind him, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has just less than a month to consider roughly two dozen bills involving child welfare and juvenile justice issues sent by the state Legislature last week.
Votes are now being counted in the Tuesday election, but the Democratic governor has appeared to overcome the challenge.
The California Legislature forwarded hundreds of bills to Newsom by last Friday’s midnight deadline for the legislative session. This year, the state Assembly and Senate operated under streamlined rules that limited how many pieces of legislation each lawmaker could introduce, resulting in far fewer bills making it to the governor’s desk.
Already, California has made significant investments in the social safety net through the budget process. Flush with roughly $100 billion from surplus tax revenue and federal coronavirus relief, Newsom’s administration set aside millions of dollars for children and families as part of a record $262 billion budget.
The investments included a state stimulus package and a universal transitional kindergarten program for all 4-year-olds. In June, Newsom and the state Legislature pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in pandemic relief for children and professionals in the foster care system. Newsom also signed off on a $100 million investment in foster care prevention services, and established the nation’s first universal basic income program for young people aging out of government care. As part of the budget deal, the governor announced $27.6 million in start-up funding for a new Office of Youth and Community Restoration.
Below is a slideshow of key pieces of legislation that now await a decision by Gov. Newsom, with graphics created by Christine Ongjoco.