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California Appropriations Committees Run Through A Range Of Bills

Max Pringle / CPRN
 

Max Pringle / CPRN

Correction: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved school bond measure is $4.3 billion, not $9 billion, as earlier reported. (Updated: 5:40 p.m.)

Bills dealing with single-use plastic bags and employee paid sick days made it out of appropriations committees in both California legislative chambers Thursday. Measures that would have provided diapers to low-income Californians and regulated medical pot both failed. 

Appropriations committees are critical to the survival of legislation in California. But, San Jose State University Political Science Professor Larry Gerston says interest groups, cities, counties, the governor and others have often pressed for changes in bills before they ever get that far.

“There are so many balls in the air as a bill goes through, it’s amazing when one actually lands on the governor’s desk,” says Gerston. “There are just too many opportunities to either weaken the bill or change it to the point where the author doesn’t even recognize it.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $4.3 billion school bond measure. A bill that would have granted whistleblower protections to legislative staffers failed in Senate Appropriations. Another bill that would have regulated the state-wide cultivation and sale of medical marijuana died in Assembly Appropriations.