gavin newsom vetoes

Sheila Fitzgerald/ (Licensed)

Gavin Newsom vetoes raft of progressive bills—including decriminalizing mushrooms—sparking backlash, 2024 speculation

Over the weekend, Newsom vetoed nearly 150 bills.


Marlon Ettinger


Posted on Oct 10, 2023

California Gov. Gavin Newom (D) vetoed a raft of bills last weekend, drawing criticism from some of his supporters. 

Among the legislation Newsom vetoed were bills decriminalizing the possession of psychedelic mushrooms, capping insulin co-pays at $35, requiring insurance companies to provide hearing aids for people under 21, and guaranteeing unemployment insurance to workers on strike.

Newsom’s office vetoed almost 150 bills over the weekend, reported SFGate. Newsom had 700 bills on his desk going into the weekend—on Saturday he made decisions on 150 of them, with another 320 settled on Sunday.

According to CalMatters, Newsom vetoed 143 bills, or around 30% of the bills he took a look at over the weekend.

“Disappointed that ⁦@GavinNewsom, who himself struggled with learning disabilities as a child, vetoed a bill requiring insurers to cover hearing aids for children under 21,” posted CNN commentator David Axelrod on X. “This is a huge setback for innocent kids who start life behind the 8-ball.”

“[Y]et another bad veto this week by Gavin Newsom,” reacted @PatTheBerner. “He’s stacked up 5 straight up corrupt vetoes, just this week! The man is an absolute villain.”

“[T]he CA legislature has to votes to overturn some of these and they won’t,” speculated @EdibleSeed. “That says a lot of them as well.”

For a legislature to overturn a Governor’s veto they need a two-thirds majority, which the Democrats have in the California legislature, with a 62-18 Democratic majority in the Assembly and a 32-8 Democratic majority in the Senate. 

That means that the bills might still be passed even with Newsom’s veto, which led some people online to speculate that the vetoes were an attempt by Newsom to present a more moderate image if he runs for president. Some of the bills Newsome vetoed were popular progressive policies.

“Gavin Newsom is vetoing bipartisan bills because he cares more about his future run for president than the people of California,” posted @sam_d_1995.

“I guess his theory of the presidential run is that the Democratic party hasn’t changed since the heyday of the DLC; he thus believes he needs to run to the right of everyone to have a shot,” replied @decmusicology.

In a statement accompanying Newsom’s veto of the mushroom decriminalization bill, Newsom claimed he supported setting up “regulated treatment guidelines” for using psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.

“Unfortunately, this bill would decriminalize possession prior to these guidelines going into place, and I cannot sign it,” Newsom said.

Newsom has denied that he’ll run for president in 2024 and urged Democrats to get behind President Joe Biden.

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*First Published: Oct 10, 2023, 2:05 pm CDT