Brown Saying “No” More Than Twice As Much as He Used To

Of the 896 bills lawmakers approved in 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed 96 of them – just under 11 percent – the lowest percentage of his current term, according to How Often Do Governors Say No?, an annual tabulation by the Senate Committee on Governance & Finance.

In 2012, the Democratic governor was sent 996 bills of which he vetoed 120.jerry brown_0-1

Of the 870 bills sent to him in 2011, he vetoed 125 — a 14.4 percent veto rate.      

During his first two terms as governor, from 1975 through 1982, Brown’s veto rate was 4.4 percent compared to 12.4 percent for the last three years.

Over those eight years, Brown vetoed 528 bills – less than one-third the 1,970 vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during his seven years in the Capitol’s corner office.

Schwarzenegger’s veto total is more than twice that of Ronald Reagan when he was governor from 1967 through 1974.

The highest annual veto rate – 35.2 percent — was also set by Schwarzenegger. In 2008, he vetoed 414 of the 1,177 bills lawmakers sent to him.

Brown set the record for the lowest number of vetoes in a year back in 1982 – 30 bills out of 1,674. That’s also the lowest veto rate – 1.8 percent.

Gov. George Deukmejian holds the record for most vetoes, dispatching 2,298 bills over eight years, an average of 287 vetoes per year.

Deukmejian, a Long Beach Republican, also holds the modern record for vetoes in one year – 436 in 1990.  That year was also when the Legislature approved a record 2,143 bills – the largest annual tally since 1967.  

The Democratic majority Legislature sent Deukmejian 14,828 bills during his two terms. His predecessor, Brown, was sent 11,406 bills over eight years, also by a Democrat-controlled Legislature.

During the past five years, legislators have approved 4,684 bills – the smallest number of bills in any five-year period since 1967.

In his 11 years as governor, Brown has signed 13,299 bills.

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