George Skelton at LAT:
Gov. Gavin Newsom is about to show the Legislature and all of us just how much his word is worth.
In June, the governor promised to sign a highly contentious vaccine bill if it was changed to narrow its scope. The measure’s author, state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), amended it the way Newsom wanted.
The governor and the senator publicly praised each other for being cooperative.Ana Ibarra at California Healthline:
Fast-forward to Tuesday after the bill passed the Assembly 47 to 17 and was returned to the Senate for confirmation with Newsom’s requested amendments. The governor’s office tweeted that there still were “technical — but important — changes” Newsom wanted saying, “The governor believes it’s important to make these additional changes concurrently with the bill.”
In truth, the newly requested changes weren’t just “technical,” they were significant.
Left unclear was whether the new changes needed to be approved by the Legislature “or else” — or else Newsom wouldn’t sign the bill; he’d veto it. And there wasn’t any clarification Wednesday after the Senate sent the bill without the changes to the governor on a 28-11 vote.
The changes Newsom now wants to make include clarifying that a doctor’s previous medical exemptions wouldn’t be considered by state officials; the state wouldn’t start counting them until the bill takes effect Jan. 1, his office said.
Newsom also wants to remove a provision that would require doctors to certify under penalty of perjury that their exemptions are accurate. And he is requesting that, in order to protect patients’ medical information, the legislation specify that exemption forms would not be accessible through the Public Records Act.
Additional amendments would be made in separate legislation that would have to be approved by the legislature before its Sept. 13 end-of-session deadline.