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Senate Approps Casualties: Drugged Driving Limit, College Free Speech Bill


A California Senate committee blocked dozens of bills Thursday without even mentioning them – let alone voting on them – during a 45-minute hearing.

The Senate Appropriations Committee killed roughly 80 of the nearly 300 measures on its “suspense file“ – the legislative limbo where bills that have been found to have significant costs to state taxpayers sit until legislative leaders decide which ones to let out and which ones to hold indefinitely.

Among the more noteworthy casualties: a bill that sought to protect free speech on college campuses, in response to conservative speakers like Ann Coulter being blocked from speaking at UC Berkeley, and a measure that would have set legal limits for driving under the influence of marijuana, now that voters have legalized its recreational use.

The committee did approve a closely-watched bill that would create a single-payer health care system in California – despite a $400 billion price tag. But a new amendment to the bill inserted by the committee blocks its implementation until a funding source is in place.

Measures that advanced Thursday must pass the full Senate by the end of next week.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee will hold its “suspense file“ hearing Friday morning.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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