On February 25, on these pages, I made a guess regarding the number of bills that would reach Governor Gavin Newsom’s Desk this Legislative Session, along with the number of measures he would sign and veto. The following is an update on that prediction. 

You may recall that February 22 was the deadline this year for the introduction of bills for consideration during the 2019 California Legislative Session. A total of 2,576 bills were introduced by the deadline and, as I noted at the time, this was a higher number than has been introduced in more than half a dozen years. 

Thereafter, I posed the question: “How many of these bills will reach Governor Newsom’s Desk and how many will he sign?” At the end of February, I wrote that, if history is a guide, we would expect over 1,000 measures to be signed this year, with about half of those that were introduced to reach the Governor’s Desk for final action.

Here was my prediction: “I’ll venture a guess. If history is a guide, I am going to speculate that roughly half of this year’s bills reach Governor Newsom’s Desk (1,285), and that he vetoes about 12% of them (155) and signs about 88% of them (1,130). We’ll check back after September 13!” 

Now that Governor Newsom has completed his final bill actions, we know the correct answers to my predictions. First, 1,042 bills reached the Governor’s Desk this Session, which is a lower number than last year’s figure, even though fewer bills were introduced last year compared to this year. And, based upon historical trends, a lower percentage of bills reached Governor Newsom in 2019 than in past years. 

Regarding his veto rate, in his first year, he had the same percentage as Governor Brown, who only reached 16.5% in his final year in office. Governor Newsom vetoed 172 bills (17 more bills than I predicted and a 4.5% higher rate than I predicted). He signed 870 bills (83.5% signature rate), far fewer and a lower percentage than my prediction as well.