Capitol Alert

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brownsigns.jpgLawmakers trudging through the final days of session are getting regular doses of good news from Gov. Jerry Brown, who on Monday alone signed more than 50 of their bills.

Since the first of the year, the Democratic governor had signed 314 bills and vetoed just five.

Brown's veto rate so far this year, 1.6 percent, is far lower than in the first two years of his term - 14 percent in 2011 and 12 percent in 2012.

That may change, of course, when Brown looks over the flurry of bills heading his way this week. End-of-session bills are sometimes late in coming because they are the more controversial, harder ones to pass.

Among a raft of bills Brown signed Monday were laws expanding the scope of practice for physician's assistants, stiffening penalties for "swatting," or filing a false emergency report, and closing a loophole in the state's rape law to cover attackers who impersonate people victims know to coerce them into having sex.

The governor also announced a rarity, a veto.

Assembly Bill 902, by Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, would have doubled the fine for motorists who fail to move over or slow down for stopped emergency or service vehicles on freeways.

"No showing has been made that piling on an additional $252 will protect anybody," Brown wrote in a veto message. "This enhanced amount strikes me as more punitive than deterrent."

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown and his legislative affairs secretary, Gareth Elliot, right, at the Capitol on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Brown is pouring over dozens of bills awaiting his signature or veto. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli



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