SACRAMENTO — The COVID-19 pandemic continued to slow the pace of governing California in 2021 as it did the year before, with the second fewest number of bills approved by the Legislature of any year since 1967, trailing only the record low number ratified in 2020.
In all, Gov. Gavin Newsom considered 836 bills covering a range of topics, a mix of proposals prompted by the current COVID crisis as well as items that have been hotly debated for years. Newsom vetoed only 66 of the bills that made it to his desk.
The Times’ list highlights 43 noteworthy new laws for 2022, including several that were approved years earlier but are only taking effect now. Most of those listed take effect on New Year’s Day. As in years past, the list mostly reflects the interests of the Democrats who hold a supermajority of seats in both the state Senate and Assembly.
Some of the most notable new laws make significant changes in criminal justice, law enforcement oversight and healthcare.