The state is the first to push back its schools’ start times and ban fur products.
Newsom Signs More Than 70 Bills
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed more than 70 bills over the weekend.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom made his way through the last of the more than 1,000 sent to his desk by lawmakers this legislative session, signing more than 70 bills and vetoing another 58 on Saturday.
Altogether, he approved 870 bills and vetoed 172 proposals this year, according to Fox Business.
“We have clearly achieved a great deal together, and I commend the Legislature for their hard work. I look forward to our continued partnership as we head into the new year and continue to tackle challenges of affordability and work to expand the opportunity to all Californians,” the Democratic governor said in a press release on Sunday.
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Among the legislation, Newsom signed over the weekend were a handful of bills aiming to expand K-12 students’ protections.
One of these bills bans schools from denying students a meal if their parents have unpaid lunch fees, or only offering the students an “alternative” meal, which causes them to stick out from their peers in the cafeteria. Schools must now provide these students with “a state reimbursable meal of their choice.”
Another law requires the California Department of Education to develop resources to train public school teachers and certified employees on how to better support seventh through 12th grade LGBTQ students who face verbal or physical harassment.
California also became the first state to allow students to hit the snooze button longer. Newsom signed a bill Sunday preventing middle schools from ringing their opening bells before 8 a.m. and high schools from starting classes before 8:30 a.m. Schools must follow the new rules by July 1, 2022, according to The Sacramento Bee.
School districts have traditionally had control over their start times, but proponents of a later start time point to research showing that lack of sleep increases teenagers’ risk of developing obesity, depression and other negative health outcomes.
In addition to these education laws, the governor signed bills ranging from those related to marijuana to those involving roadkill.
Here are some other bills the governor recently passed:
- Abortion pills: Newsom signed a bill Friday requiring that all California State University and University of California campuses provide students with abortion pills by Jan. 1, 2023.
- Cannabis industry: A new law will allow marijuana businesses to claim state tax deductions.
- Roadkill: Under a state-mandated pilot program, up to three regions in California will allow drivers to apply for a permit so that they can take home the remains of animals killed in collisions.
- Animal protection: A new law prevents circuses from using animals – excluding dogs, cats, and horses – in performances and makes California the first state to ban the sale of fur clothing and accessories. The law excludes products used for tribal or religious reasons and also doesn’t include the sale of used products, cowhide, shearling and leather, CNN reported.
- Immigrant protections: Immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and live in California will now be able to serve on government boards and commissions, thanks to a new law that takes effect Jan. 1.
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