A minimum wage increase, California Environmental Quality Act changes, driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, a state prisons deal – all among the hundreds of bills lawmakers passed in this last week of session.
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says that caps a “great year” – on top of a budget that restored some of the deep cuts from previous years. “You contrast all of these achievements and more with where we were five years ago as a state, and it is night and day,” he says.
Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway says Republicans were relevant this year, despite Democratic supermajorities. She says her party helped secure the prisons deal and tax credits for manufacturers. Her biggest frustration? “It really feels like there was an assault on the Second Amendment. I mean, it’s a tremendous amount of gun control bills.”
The final night was not without drama, as tensions flared over the driver’s licenses and CEQA bills. But several lawmakers said this year’s end of session was calmer than previous years.