California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 57 on Monday, drawing praise from rare places, and fueling more speculation about his potential 2024 White House bid.
SB 57 would have allowed people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland to use illegal drugs under medical supervision. Following the veto of the bill, Newsom said:
“It is possible that these sites would help improve the safety and health of our urban areas, but if done without a strong plan, they could work against this purpose … These unintended consequences in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland cannot be taken lightly. Worsening drug consumption challenges in these areas is not a risk we can take.”
But, he left the door open for a more detailed and less expansive plan, which he would still consider signing. Newsom said:
“I remain open to this discussion when those local officials come back to the Legislature with recommendations for a truly limited pilot program.”
This is a terrible bill and a short-term win for Californians. Credit where credit is due, Newsom made the right decision, possibly his only decision that did not hurt California or San Francisco in his 18 years in politics. Nonetheless, even his most prominent critics praised him for this decision.
Assemblyman and Congressional candidate Kevin Kiley said:
“I’m glad that the Governor vetoed the bill. Jerry Brown vetoed this same concept. For some reason, even though now Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown have both rejected this measure, our legislature has decided to support it … I’m glad that the Governor did not take this incredibly radical and backward step.”
Kiley added that it’s not enough just to veto this bill:
“This isn’t nearly enough. This is a tragedy of opioid addiction and overdoses that is absolutely devastating communities across this state and across this country. So we need to take proactive steps to raise awareness. To hold accountable the criminals who are selling, peddling these lethal substances, often to very young Californians.”
Kiley is happy with Newsom for vetoing the bill that would have created safe consumption sites in LA, Oakland, and San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/HTUYNqIgH2
— Morgan Rynor (@Morgan_Rynor) August 22, 2022
Here are a few other critics who praised the decision by Newsom today:
Fantastic news! The Governor just vetoed SB 57, a horrible bill that would have legalized heroin shooting dens.
I’ve been calling on the Governor to veto this bill for weeks. Today is a victory in the fight to help people get off drugs and into treatment. #CALeg
— Brian W. Jones (@SenBrianJones) August 22, 2022
BREAKING: Senate Republicans have secured a VETO of dangerous bill, SB 57! These so-called “safe” spaces to shoot up deadly drugs are the opposite of compassion. THANK YOU for sharing the news and urging the governor to reject this measure.
— Senator Shannon Grove (@ShannonGroveCA) August 22, 2022
Kevin Kiley is right. There must be consequences for the criminals who sell these lethal substances. But that might be too much to ask from Newsom after he endorsed George Gascon, Chesa Boudin, and appointed soft-on-crime Rob Bonta as California Attorney General.
Again, credit where credit is due; however, we must question the motive behind the vetoing. There has been speculation about a potential 2024 White House bid. This veto will look good on his resume as he attempts to move into the national spotlight.
As I reported previously, a Gavin Newsom presidency would be a disaster for America, and although this is a short-term win, Newsom has been in charge of San Francisco and California for 18 years combined, and this is one of the few victories we can point to.