SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a handful of bills Friday as the last day for him to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature approaches Sunday.
Below is a brief breakdown of just a handful of the bills signed and vetoed by the governor Friday alone.
Ethnic studies now high school requirement
California high school students will have to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in the 2029-30 school year.
Newsom signed a bill Friday that makes California among the first in the nation to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high school students.
Assemblyman Jose Medina authored the legislation and says schools are ready to offer courses that are more reflective of social justice. The new law requires all public schools in the state to offer at least one ethnic studies course starting in the 2025-26 school year.
Students graduating in 2029-30 will have to complete a one-semester course.
State eases gang enhanced sentence rules
Newsom has limited prison terms for those associated with street gangs. It was among several criminal justice bills restricting enhancements that can add years to offenders’ sentences.
Its goal is to continue reducing criminal penalties in the latest attempt to relax tough-on-crime policies that jammed prisons to the bursting point just a decade ago.
Menstrual products required in public schools
California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law.
The measure signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom builds on a 2017 law requiring low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products. It expands the law to include grades 6 to 12, community colleges and the California State University and University of California systems, starting in the 2022-23 school year.
From now until 2026, you'll be able to order cocktails-to-go in California
California is moving to extend the sale of cocktails to-go and keep alcohol service for outdoor dining at parklets as it aims to help restaurants recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Two of the three bills Gov. Gavin Newsom approved Friday, Oct. 8, extend outdoor dining permits and alcohol sales for a year after the state of emergency ends. That gives businesses time to seek permanent permission.
The third allows restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries that sell food to offer to-go alcoholic beverages with food orders through 2026. Associations representing restaurants and the distilled spirits industry praised the signing.
State extends tax on phones to fund high-speed internet
Californians could have higher cellphone bills because of two new laws signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The laws Newsom signed Friday make sure California will keep collecting a tax on phone bills. They also let the state collect more of the tax.
Currently, landline users pay more of the tax than cellphone customers.
Some parents able to join their adult children's health insurance plan
California is the first state to let some adult children add parents as dependents on their insurance plans.
The trend nationally has been to let children linger on their parents' health insurance plans. But California is now the first state to go the other direction by letting some adults join their kids' health plans.
The law applies only to people who purchase their health insurance on the individual market.
New law limits some workplace secret settlements
A new law in California bans secret settlements in most workplace harassment and discrimination cases.
A 2018 California law banned secret settlements involving sexual harassment, discrimination or assault.
But the law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Thursday bans these settlements for other types of discrimination cases, including race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.
California governor vetoes bill to pay people to stay sober
Gov. Gavin Newsom has rejected a bill that would have made California the first state to pay people to stay sober. But just because Newsom vetoed the bill on Friday does not mean the drug treatment program won't happen in California.
Newsom supports the treatment, known as contingency management. But he wants to test it out first before signing a law to make it permanent. Newsom has asked the federal government for permission to run a pilot program until March 2024.
Gov. Newsom rejects decriminalizing jaywalking
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is rejecting an effort to decriminalize jaywalking. He vetoed the bill Friday despite supporters framing the issue as a social justice reform.
Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting says the crime is arbitrarily enforced, most often against people of color. It has sometimes led to deadly confrontations with police.
Newsom said he will work with lawmakers to find legislation that addresses the unequal enforcement of jaywalking laws in a manner that does not risk worsening California’s pedestrian safety.
State adds 'ghost guns' to violence prevention orders
California is adding a secretive but growing class of weapons to those that can legally be seized under gun violence restraining orders.
A bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Friday includes what are known as “ghost guns” in the definition of what may be seized starting July 1, 2022. They are guns assembled from parts and so might not be registered or purchased through a dealer.
According to a release from the governor's office, Newsom signed over a couple of dozen bills. Read the full breakdown of the bills signed by clicking here.