Here's a look at some bills Governor Newsom could sign into law in California

ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Here's a look at bills Newsom could sign into law in CA
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California Governor Gavin Newsom has less than two weeks to sign or veto hundreds of bills still sitting on his desk.

SAN FRANCISCO -- California Governor Gavin Newsom has less than two weeks to sign or veto hundreds of bills still sitting on his desk.

So far, he has already signed into law two bills that aim to ease California's housing crisis, a bill that aims to protect Amazon warehouse workers by limiting productivity quotas, and a bill that expands protections for garment workers.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom signs affordable housing bill in Alameda Co.

He's vetoed a bill that would give farmworkers the option to vote-by-mail, instead of in-person, for their union elections. That all still leaves hundreds of bills awaiting a final decision.

SB 2: Police accountability

Among them, is SB 2 -- a bill that would decertify bad-acting police officers and prevent them from moving among California law enforcement agencies.

California is one of only a handful of states in the country that does not already have a process to banish officers for serious misconduct. But opponents say the bill is flawed and potentially anti-law enforcement.

AB 101: Ethnic studies requirement

Another bill on Newsom's desk is AB 101, which would require ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all California public schools. Proponents say it's important for students to see themselves reflected in their education and that it will help students think critically about the country's complex history.

But there are many opposed to this bill, too. Roughly 3,000 people have signed a petition urging Newsom to veto the bill. They say the approved curriculum is anti-Semitic.

"The current version... invokes anti-Semitic tropes, raises anti-American sentiment and legitimizes those things that we all need to work on," Masha Merkulova, the Executive Director of Club Z, a youth Jewish group, who is against the bill told ABC7 News. "Nobody is saying America is perfect, but it pits students against other students and that is not what I would like to see our public schools or private schools engage in."

SB 314, AB 61: Bar and restaurant recovery, business pandemic relief

Two other bills awaiting a decision are much less contentious. SB 314 and AB 61 would expand outdoor dining options across California even after the pandemic.

"These are two companion bills that together will empower cities to extend and allow outdoor dining," State Senator Scott Wiener, of San Francisco, said on a Zoom call Tuesday morning.

"It allows for flexibility in outdoor dining," Assembly member Jesse Gabriel of Los Angeles added. "It allows these neighborhood restaurants to make creative use of their own space, to use parking spaces to do outdoor dining, to do more cooking outdoors, to serve beverages outdoors, really to support them and to support the work that they do."

RELATED: Parklets forever? Proposed California law could make outdoor dining easier post-pandemic

In addition to these bills, there's also bills that would protect protesters from rubber bullets, make it easier for community college students to transfer to a UC or Cal State campus, and require large department stores that sell kids' products to maintain a gender-neutral section of toys.

There's also a bill that would increase family leave payments, a bill that would ensure cost-free COVID testing, and a bill that would allow people to add dependent parents to their health plan.

Gov. Newsom has until October 10 to make his decisions.