SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Governor Gavin Newsom concluded the state's legislative session on Wednesday and leaving many of his Democratic allies disappointed with some of the measures signed, but also the ones he vetoed.
In an unprecedented move, California will, by law, investigate paying reparations to African Americans.
A bill signed this week calls for the creation of a nine-member task force looking into the lasting impact from slavery.
But some experts are skeptical any serious change will come from it.
"They'll do more harm than good, or do more harm than if they had done nothing in the very beginning, than meddling with it and not following through," says Professor James Taylor of the University of San Francisco.
Also signed into law, a series of criminal justice reforms.
One new law bans the use of carotid choke holds by law enforcement.
Another, requires the Attorney General to investigate deadly police shootings of unarmed individuals.
"I feel like he's really working to be responsive to the issues that are top of mind to Californians right now," says Donna Crane, political science professor at San Jose State University.
Another bill would allow California to get into the business of generic drugs as a way to help lower the costs of medicines like insulin.
"This is a government agency. It's responsive to the people. There's no profit motive. It's still allowing for profit pharmaceutical companies to do innovation which of course we support as taxpayers," says Crane.
Another new measure, also the first of its kind, deals with corporate boards.
By law, they will now be required to include at least one underrepresented minority.
"We need diversity to educate and to enrich the public spaces and this is one imperfect way to address the issues that we see of polarization and division in this country," says Taylor.
Among the measures that got vetoed this week, a bill that would have required ethnic studies at the high school level.
The governor said the model curriculum still needs some changes.
Labor unions were shocked when he vetoed bills to extend health and safety protections to domestic workers and provide job security to hospitality employees.
Homeless advocates were disappointed he rejected a plan to establish an "Office to End Homelessness" and a bill that would have made it state policy that every person has "a right to safe, decent, and affordable housing." Newsom said he's not an ideologue and considers each bill on its merits.
Associated Press contributed to this story.