How powerful lawmakers are killing California bills — without a peep

by Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Gun control, school spending, curbs on greenhouse gases: With Democrats holding more power at the Capitol than they’ve had since the 19th century, California’s legislative pipeline is full this year with big, blue-state ideas.

In theory, no Democrat’s bill should be left behind. But that’s not what’s happening, and the reason is roiling both sides of the aisle in Sacramento.

The complaint? Democrats who lead legislative committees are using a powerful tool to kill bills before they even get a vote.

The tool? Simply doing nothing.

Under a rule the California Assembly put in place at the start of the current session, committee chairs can decide whether to bring a bill assigned to their committee up for consideration. As key deadlines came and went this month for bills to move out of committee, chairs used the new power to quash bills by just not scheduling them for a public hearing.

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Related: The tortured tale of two transportation bills by Jane Bender, Board Member, The Climate Center

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