Breaking News
More () »

Lawsapalooza | Here's a list of new laws Gov. Newsom recently signed

According to a release from the governor's office, Newsom signed over a couple of dozen bills.
Credit: AP
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to volunteers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The recall election that could remove California Democratic Gov. Newsom is coming to an end. Voting concludes Tuesday in the rare, late-summer election that has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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. 

Read more: California makes ethnic studies a high school requirement

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. 

Read moreCalifornia eases gang enhanced sentence rules

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. 

Read moreCalifornia requires menstrual products in public schools

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.

Read more: From now until 2026, you'll be able to order cocktails-to-go in California

Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 7, 2021, file photo, patrons enjoy tropical cocktails in the tiny interior of the Tiki-Ti bar as it reopens on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Los Angeles leaders on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 approved a city ordinance with one of the nation's strictest vaccine mandates, a sweeping measure that would require the shots for everyone entering a bar, restaurant, nail salon, gym or even a Lakers game. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

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.

Read moreCalifornia extends tax on phones to fund high-speed internet

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.

Read moreSome California parents can now join their kid's health insurance plan

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. 

Read moreNew California law limits some workplace secret settlements

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.

Read moreRelated: New California law limits some workplace secret settlements

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. 

Read moreCalifornia governor rejects decriminalizing jaywalking

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.

Read moreCalifornia adds 'ghost guns' to violence prevention orders

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.

Watch more ABC10: Cesar E. Chavez National Monument pays tribute to one of the greatest activists

Before You Leave, Check This Out