What’s Jerry Brown signing/vetoing into legislation now?

October 27, 2015

Not all states are created equal—economically speaking, that is. With a Gross State Product of around $2.3 trillion, California is not only the largest economy in the U.S., it is one of the 10 largest economies in the world. That’s a sizeable beast that requires taming, and the man with the whip is Governor Jerry Brown. Having first served as governor of California in 1975, this septuagenarian politician, once nicknamed “Gov. Moonbeam” brings over 40 years of political experience to the table.

Despite having his fair share of critics, Gov. Brown has done a better job at running a state that most politicos consider ungovernable, as evidenced by the fact he can actually get budgets passed. And even at 77 years old he hasn’t slowed down, still signing and vetoing policies with the energy of a man half his age. So, here’s a rundown on recent legislation that’s passed across old Moonbeam’s desk.

Prohibition of civilians flying aerial drones

The Governor got his veto pen out for this one. The legislation in question would have made it illegal for average folks to fly aerial drones over designated public and private spaces. It’s hard to argue with his logic on this one, since unmanned drones rarely amount to more than a nuisance, even when they are around firefighters. Add to that the fact there are already laws on the books covering civilian drone flying and it looks like California has avoided adding even more inmates to its already beleaguered penal system.

Racial profiling

On Oct. 3rd, Gov. Brown signed an anti-racial profiling bill into law. The Black Lives Matter movement has supported such laws since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. This law costs some $9 million annually, and it requires police offers to collect demographic data on those they stop. It’s a victory for the Black Lives Matter movement and its supporters; obviously, it represents a defeat for that movement’s critics.

Elephant ivory

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Brown signed AB 96 into law. This legislation prohibits the sale of nearly all elephant ivory in the state of California. It is a boon for wildlife supporters and a blow to San Francisco’s Chinatown community.

Assisted suicide

This is the big one. California has been grappling with the issue of physician-assisted suicide since voters rejected a 1992 bill that would have allowed the practice. This bill, which is heavily based on Oregon legislation that was passed into law in 1997, permits physicians to provide lethal prescriptions of drugs to terminally ill patients who have six months or less to live. Naturally the Catholic Church was against the law. This makes it all the more interesting that Brown signed the legislation, since he was a one-time Jesuit seminary student.

What do you think? Is Gov. Moonbeam keeping the state pointed in the right direction? Or is he driving the car right off Highway 1 and into the sea?