The California State Legislature returned to Sacramento on January 3, 2023, to begin the second year of the 2023-2024 legislative session. The legislature has been busy this January attempting to pass two-year bills out of their house of origin. New bills are being introduced daily and will continue through the deadline of February 16. Health care, housing, schools, environmental protection, artificial intelligence, crime and retail theft, seem likely to top the list of legislative interest in 2024.
The California State Senate will have a new leader on February 5, when Mike McGuire (D-Sonoma) takes the reins from Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). Senator McGuire has been a member of Atkins’ leadership team as the chamber’s majority leader since 2022. The California State Assembly already has a new Speaker, Robert Rivas (D-Hollister).
As bills are considered, they will be done so with the backdrop of the state budget in mind. On January 10, Governor Newsom released the 2024-25 state budget, where he projected the state deficit to be $37.9 billion. The Governor attributes the budget deficit to a substantial decline in the stock market that drove down revenues and the unprecedented delays in income tax collections. The Governor’s budget proposal kicks off the start of budget negotiations with the legislature. The Governor will update his January proposal in May, and the legislature must pass a budget by June 15, ahead of the July 1 start of the next fiscal year.
As legislation continues to be introduced, AHA bills of interest will center around tobacco control and prevention, ensuring plans are in place at schools to react to sudden cardiac arrest emergencies and improving access to care and addressing and food insecurity. Stay tuned for an update on these lifesaving measures and how you can get involved!