The 2023-24 California legislative session gaveled in on December 5, comprised of the largest freshman class the Capitol has seen since term limits were enacted over a decade ago. Of the 120 total lawmakers, over a quarter are new faces (34 to be precise). Ten of these new members are in the Senate and 24 are in the Assembly. The significant turnover this election cycle was due in large part to the legislative redistricting that was finalized in late 2021, which drew several incumbents into the same districts and significantly changed the constituent demographics for many others. 2022 has often been referred to as “The Great Resignation” because of the almost weekly announcements that lawmakers were either resigning and leaving their seats early, or not running for reelection.
With rising inflation and the significant reduction in the capital markets towards the end of 2022, the upcoming California state budget will have to account for a projected $24 billion deficit. This significant budget shortfall will result in the Administration and the Legislature making difficult decisions as to what policies will be prioritized and which will be left out. The reason for this revenue gap is due in large part to the heavy dependence on capital gains revenue as a state (Approx. 70% of the budget revenue) and as interest rates and fears of recession have spiked this has led to depressed state revenue numbers - gone are the last decade of record budget surpluses. For the first time since the great financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent few budget years, lawmakers are now dealt the unfamiliar hand of having to plug a budget hole.
2023 Public Safety Bills
A record 2632 bills have been introduced this legislative session. Of those introduced CSLEA is tracking over 60 public safety bills. A number of these bills will be priority bills CSLEA will either support or oppose. This year, CSLEA is sponsoring two presumption bills, SB 391 and SB 623. SB 391 (Blakespear) will provide a skin cancer presumption for game wardens and park rangers. SB 623 (Laird) will provide a PTSI presumption for fire fighters, peace officers, and dispatch. We look forward to keeping you informed of the progress of these bills and our progress as a whole on the bills that are a high priority.