Sunday night was the final deadline for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s to sign or veto bills from the current legislative session — and he kept some legislators waiting until the last moments to find out if their bills were going to live or die.
On the last day before the deadline, Newsom announced he had signed 870 bills into law. But Sunday's flurry of action included more vetoes than signings, mostly for things Newsom said the state could not afford to implement.
That included blocking a bill that would have required all schools to provide at least six weeks of pregnancy leave at full pay for staff. He also vetoed a bill requiring all elementary schools to have at least one full-day kindergarten program by 2022. Newsom did, though, sign into law a bill banning public high schools from starting class before 8:30 a.m. and middle schools from starting before 8 a.m. The governor's office has a full list of all the bills signed and vetoed on the last day.
Over the last week, Newsom signed landmark legislation that ran the gamut from a ban on selling fur to a mandate that state university health centers stock abortion medication.
Below is a roundup of some of the standout bills signed in the lead up to the legislative deadline.
Health and Aging
SB 24: This bill, which is the first of it kind in the U.S., requires student health centers at all 34 UC and CSU campuses to provide medication abortions. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls will administer a Reproductive Health Fund to pay for the upfront costs of providing this option across campuses. But eventually universities may need to dip into tax dollars or student fees for ongoing costs — a funding avenue abortion opponents are against.
AB 824: By Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, and sponsored by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, this is another first-in-the-nation bill. It addresses pay-for-delay agreements, which saddle prescription drug users with debt. The new law tamps down on the practice of pharmaceutical drug companies paying their generic counterparts to delay the release of cheaper versions of drugs.
SB 464: The California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act requires implicit bias training for all perinatal health care providers and better tracking of maternal deaths by the coroner’s office. Mortality rates among black infants in California are triple those of white infants, and black women are substantially more likely to suffer life-threatening complications during pregnancy.
SB 159: This bill by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, provides the HIV-prevention drugs, pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP), without a prescription.