Could Gov. Newsom's vetoing of bills be a sign of next political steps?

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing criticism from some in his party for vetoing popular Democrat-sponsored bills that made it to his desk.

Some Assembly bills that breezed through the state house and Senate did not find a friend in the governor when the time came. The bill authors wouldn't say that it was the governor playing to national politics, but political experts think it may be a long game for what comes next in Newsom's political life.

"O wouldn't say he doesn't care about California politics, but what are they going to do to him? He's not running again for governor," CBS13 political analyst Gary Dietrich said.

One bill, AB 316, advocated for more regulation regarding automated trucks on the road. AV industry advocates see the veto as a victory.

"There's a very robust regulatory process that's being led by the governor's department, the California Highway Patrol, and the Department of Motor Vehicles," Jeff Farrar said "Vetoing this bill means this process can play out."

Members of Newsom's party, bill author Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, said the bill was misinterpreted.

"It's not a ban. It was just to make sure we had a clear process," she said. "The extra part was making sure the legislature could kind of make sure this is the direction we want to keep going in. Is it safe and is it timely?"

Another bill, AB 957, would've standardized court practice of gender affirmations in the health, welfare and safety of a child in custody court.

"Yes, judges can take into consideration any factor they want to, but really this was about setting a standard in the family court system," California Representative Lori Wilson, the bill's author, said.

Wilson didn't believe the bill signified a play to national punditry but instead saw the Democratic process playing out.

"He has within the realm of his office to veto any bill based on what he sees as best for California," she said.

It begs the question of if the decisions are part of a bigger strategy at the presidential level.

"He is going to be looked at through the prism, through the microscope of a guy trying to run for the presidency," Dietrich said.

This is as the spotlight looms and a big debate with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on tap.

"I don't think the stakes could be higher for either of them going into this November," Dietrich said.

The two have agreed to debate on November 30 in Georgia.

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