California Misses Important Opportunity with Governor Newsom's SB1 Veto

Bill would have restored protections for water, air, workers, and endangered species following the Trump administration's rollbacks.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California Governor Gavin Newsom today vetoed a bill that would have enabled California state agencies to better protect workers, air quality, clean water, as well as endangered species left more vulnerable because of rollbacks of federal protections. Senate Bill (SB) 1, authored by Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, cleared the Legislature last weekend with strong majorities in the state Senate and Assembly, and was seen as a direct refutation of the Trump administration’s policies.

Audubon California Executive Director Sarah Rose issued the following statement in response:

“With the Governor’s veto, California has missed an important opportunity to protect the state’s residents, habitats, and imperiled wildlife. Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have been aggressively weakening standards for clean air, clean water, and wildlife protections. Without SB 1, California will be less prepared to defend itself and its natural resources.

“Audubon respectfully disagrees with the Governor’s stated reasons for vetoing the bill. SB 1 was carefully crafted to ensure that state agencies could act with focus and flexibility while relying on the best available science.

“Audubon California greatly appreciates the leadership of Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins for authoring SB 1 and all the members of the Senate and Assembly who worked hard on the bill for months in partnership with water districts, cities, farming, industry, labor, and environmental organizations.

“The Governor’s veto of SB 1 does not put to rest the issues that SB 1 addressed. The need for California’s leadership in environmental protections will continue to grow as the Trump administration continues to advance policies that put our environment and communities at grave risk. We look forward to working with the Governor in the next year on his stated commitment to fight for California’s environment.”

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