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Laws, Laws, Laws: How Successful Were Valley Lawmakers in Getting Newsom's Signature?
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 months ago on
December 21, 2023

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Hundreds of new laws take effect in the new year. By GV Wire’s count, 41 were written by local legislators.

In a reversal of Sacramento’s perception of reducing criminal penalties, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 14, stiffening the sentences for the trafficking of minors for prostitution.

It was not without a fight. Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, battled the public safety committees in both the state Senate and Assembly.

Several local legislators also helped pass AB 112/SB 112, which provided loans to distressed hospitals, with the shuttered Madera Community Hospital in mind.

Local Lawmaker Rollcall

Here is a listing of other bills authored by Central Valley lawmakers and signed by the governor set to take effect in 2024.

Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno

Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula

Arambula had three bills signed, including a water safety bill. Bills authored: 19; bills signed: 3.

AB 447: Establish and maintain college programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AB 494: Extends reimbursements to the Robert F. Kennedy Farm Workers Medical Plan through 2031.

AB 1445: Establishes a program to teach elementary students, parents, and caregivers water safety. Named for Neng Thao, a 2017 Edison High School graduate who drowned in 2017.

Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains, D-Bakersfield

The Kern County legislator focused on crime prevention, especially with fentanyl. She also authored a resolution commemorating the Sikh genocide. Bills authored: 15; bills signed: 4 (plus four resolutions).

Dr. Jasmeet Bains portrait
Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains

AB 33: Establishes the Fentanyl Misuse and Overdose Prevention Task Force.

AB 1166: Expands civil liability protections for those providing emergency treatment for opioid overdoses.

AB 1203: Exempts breast pumps and supplies from sales tax.

AB 1519: Prohibits the illegal removal of ID numbers added to catalytic converters. Violation would be a felony.

Four resolutions proclaiming Older Californians Month, Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month, State Scientist Day, and condemning the 1984 Sikh genocide in India.

Assemblymember Devon Mathis, R-Porterville

Several veteran-oriented bills from Mathis reflect his military service. He declined to run for a final term in 2024. Bills authored: 25; bills signed: 9 (plus one resolution).

portrait of Devon Mathis
Assemblymember Devon Mathis

AB 248: Removes the word “retarded” and similar terms from California code and replaces it with “individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.”

AB 298: Constructs a blind veterans memorial at the state Capitol.

AB 356: Extends CEQA exemptions for abandoned or dilapidated buildings.

AB 322: Informs veterans about post-secondary education options.

AB 606: Extends legal protections for farmers and ranchers for accidental “take” of an endangered species, as long as it is reported.

AB 682: Improves State Water Board online search tool to process applications for drinking water systems.

AB 883: Expedites business licenses for veterans enrolled in certain programs.

AB 988: Reports on the number of veterans utilizing the state suicide hotline.

AB 1492: Constructs a monument for veterans of Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

ACR 48: Encourages sensor-friendly movie screenings for people with autism.

Assemblymember Jim Patterson, R-Fresno

In his second-to-last year in the Legislature before terming out, Patterson authored several bills dealing with taxes, healthcare, and adoption. Bills authored: 18; bills signed: 4.

Official Assembly portrait of Assemblyman Jim Patterson
Assemblymember Jim Patterson

AB 314: extends a sales tax exemption for trucks and trailers through 2029. It was set to expire in 2024.

AB 633: allows licensing for retired nurses.

AB 1462: Requires state Department of Public Health to access data and report on veteran overdose deaths.

AB 1650:Requires a petitioner for adoption to inform the court about postadoption contract agreements.

Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria, D-Fresno

The first-year legislator authored several veterans bills, as well as for the city of Merced. Bills authored: 19; bills signed: 5.

Esmeralda Soria
Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria

AB 1259: Bill to help the city of Merced improve infrastructure.

AB 1311: Studies the efficacy of health programs at the state’s colleges.

AB 1350: Establishes a fund to maintain veterans’ memorials at the state Capitol.

AB 1566: Improves data collection for county veterans officials, allowing for better delivery of services.

AB 1745: Raises the income cap of veterans’ dependents for college tuition waivers.

Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Merced

Caballero was one of the most prolific local legislators with 12 bills, mainly dealing with housing. Bills authored: 32; bills signed: 12.

Anna Caballero portrait
State Sen. Anna Caballero

SB 149:  Allows for expedited CEQA review for eligible energy, transportation, water, and semiconductor projects.

SB 306: Focuses resources for California homes in areas that experience extreme heat.

SB 599: Authorizes Superior Courts as locations for supervised visitation and exchange locations for custodial visits.

SB 609: Requires school districts to post performance overviews on the publicly accessible Dashboard.

SB 621: Helps access for lower-cost medications.

SB 684: Expedites permitting process to construct small home ownership.

SB 699: Provides protections to employees required to sign non-compete clauses in violation of state law.

SB 706: Allows local governments to use the “Progressive Design-Build” process to deliver infrastructure projects and expedite construction and reduce costs.

SB 747: Amends the Surplus Land Act “to avoid delays and uncertainty for local agencies advancing important public policy priorities.”

SB 753: Expands the felony environmental law to include stealing water for six or more cannabis plants without proper permits.

SB 800: Creates an environmental panel “to assess the feasibility and readiness of existing infrastructure for air mobility and the development of a three-year prioritized work plan, with pathways for promoting equity and access to advanced air mobility infrastructure.”

SB 831: Authorizes governor to work with federal authorities to “establish a program to allow undocumented agricultural workers in California to work legally in the state.”

Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield

State Sen. Shannon Grove

Grove had only one other bill signed into law. Bills authored: 17; bills signed: 2.

SB 14: see above

SB 293: Requires that California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress results be publicly available by Oct. 15 of each year.

Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield

A light year for Hurtado, whose stances on on oil drilling and fracking put her on the outs with the Newsom administration and her party. Bills authored: 21; bills signed: 2 (plus two resolutions not requiring the governor’s signature)

Picture of Melissa Hurtado
State Sen. Melissa Hurtado

SB 628: Declares state policy “that every human being has the right to access sufficient affordable and healthy food.”

SB 701: Expands registration and fee laws for fruit and vegetable wholesalers to every county.

SCR 63: dedicated May 2023 as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.

SCR 66: dedicated every May as  Latina Maternal Health Awareness Month.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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