Three days into Sacramento, the delegates in the legislative houses have already seen countless pieces of legislation. This legislation came from many delegations and thousands of delegates, and represents the culmination of months of work. But not all legislation is created equal. Reporters spoke to delegates in the Gold Senate and Gold Assembly to find out what they thought the best and worst pieces of legislation have been so far.
Damien Siefert is a senior from the San Diego Super Cluster and a veteran of the legislative houses. In his interview, he shared his thoughts on what he has seen this year. “I really like the bill trying to include LGBTQ sexual education in high school curriculum,” he said. He thought that the bill addressed an issue that is not given the attention it deserves, and that it was the best written piece of legislation he had seen this year.
Rory Thompson, also of the San Diego Super Cluster, gave their thoughts on the legislation the Senate had debated so far. Rory expressed displeasure with the bill that would have made California a sanctuary state, shielding undocumented people from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Rory stated that, “The bill doesn’t do what the abstract said it would. It only applies to drug offenders.”
Rory went on to explain that Lieutenant Governor Ethan Harris had vetoed the bill during his brief stint as Youth Governor, citing lost funding to the State of California from the federal government, but that despite this veto, Youth Governor Trujillo is working to pass the bill.
Rory and several other delegates also disapproved of a bill related to forced labor in private prisons in the State of California. They cited the sponsor’s lack of knowledge on the topic and the vague and confusing language of the measure as their reasons for opposing it. Other delegates in the area rushed to defend the bill, believing that the concept of the bill warranted its passage, even if it had other shortcomings.
Anna Chim of the Verdugo Hills YMCA delegation expressed her concern about a bill that would force Californians to vote. She stated that, if the bill were to take effect, “People who don’t vote would be fined and jailed.” She went on to call the law draconian and counterproductive, believing that, “It went way too far,” in addition to being poorly written.
The Gold Senate and Gold Assembly still have a number of bills left on the docket, and with so many differing views,numerous lively debates on bills as polarizing as these are sure to come. To view the final Gold Assembly and Gold Senate sessions, go to the Senate or Assembly Chambers in the Capitol between 11:00 and 12:30, or go to Convention Center Exhibit Halls D or E between 2:30 and 4:00 on Sunday.