I know I should be used to it – I’ve lived in California for too long not to have noticed – but the flood of new laws here every year is astonishing.
With the progressive governor we have – Gavin Newsom, who just beat a recall – and the Democratic majority in the Legislature, it should come as no surprise that Newsom just faced some 700 bills that needed his signature. His deadline was Sunday, and those laws covered everything from education, health, housing and just about every other policy area you can think of.
Remember, those senators and assemblymembers in the Legislature are always thinking up new ways to control our lives.
Consider that that if Newsom signed them all, California would have 700 additional laws on the books! Can you imagine how many laws we break every day without knowing it?!
He didn’t sign all 700, but those he did sign cover a wide range of issues. As one headline said, “issues ranging from condiments to condoms.” This is California, after all!
Just over the weekend alone, he signed 32 bills, and all of them affect our way of life.
Remember that last year, Newsom banned the sale of all gasoline-powered cars and trucks in the state by 2035. While that remains on the books, Californians do not know how exactly that would affect them – what that would mean to those of us who have gas-powered vehicles, what it would mean to the gas station business, the new and used car businesses and to mechanics and more.
But never mind – it’s all in the name of a green economy and fighting climate change. California has the most strict air quality laws in the country.
But now, Newsom has gone even further. The new bill just signed outlaws gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and any other gas-powered gardening equipment, in addition to outlawing all small off-road engines – like golf carts.
In one report that referenced the L.A. Times, it’s estimated that the new law would affect some 50,000 small businesses, in addition to the fact that there isn’t enough money set aside to cover the replacements.
As part of his budget, Newsom signed a $15 billion climate change package. A billion of this is dedicated to dealing with wildfires – training firefighters, working with tribes for prescribed burns and plans to deal with wood from cleaning out undergrowth.
But let’s move on – to our children.
A new law mandates that after 2029, all high school students must take and pass an “ethnic studies course” to graduate. Of course, a big problem is that there isn’t sufficient funding to handle this – and any funding approved is passed on to property taxes.
How that will be handled is anybody’s guess.
The governor is establishing a universal pre-K program for 4-year-olds – that’s estimated to cost more than $2.7 billion and $10 million to expand dual-immersion language programs. In addition, there’s nearly $2 billion allocated for college savings accounts and ongoing funding.
He also signed a $47.1 billion higher-education collection of bills dealing with transfers from community college to the university as well including $2 billion for affordable student housing.
Students? Of course.
Menstrual products must be provided in school restrooms – free of charge – in grades 6-12 and all colleges.
And note, that this applies to restrooms for girls and women and men and boys.
You read that right. They call it gender equity, and it’s expected to cost $4.5 million a year to operate – but another $11 million to equip the restrooms to deal with the products.
How about children’s toys and clothing?
Oh yes, Gavin got involved in that too. He signed a bill that as of 2024, all stores must have gender-neutral sections with things that will appeal to boys and girls. No more “Pink and Blue.” Toys and clothes for everyone, regardless of sex!
According to the law, having separate boys and girls sections “makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
The law applies to larger stores, but those which don’t comply can be fined $500.
Like cocktails? The new law allows the sale of cocktails to go, and restaurants that serve food in parklets can also serve alcohol.
A new law cuts the wait time for mental health appointments to 10 days and requires insurance companies to follow the directives.
Housing is being impacted on several levels. Approval processes for new developments are being streamlined to take less time. That’s good.
On the other hand, duplexes are allowed on single family lots without local hearings or reviews, and land can be rezoned for multiple units – as many as 10 – while bypassing the State Environmental Quality Act. Essentially, Newsom has limited single-family zoning.
Another new law makes it illegal to remove a condom without consent during intercourse.
Speaking of sex, it is now illegal to film someone near an abortion clinic or to be there with signs and brochures with the intent of informing people about what goes on in those facilities.
As an aside to that, the Life Legal Defense Foundation is suing to stop implementation of that law, claiming it violates freedom of speech.
There’s much more – easing gang enhanced sentences, forbidding restaurants from giving out condiment packets (ketchup, mustard, etc.) unless customers request them, new rules involving ghost guns, limiting the use of rubber bullet by police, and at least four other bills dealing with police reform.
I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but the main point for Californians to remember is that every one of those dollars Newsom is spending comes out of their pockets.
Spending goes up. Taxes go up.
No wonder thousands of Californians are leaving the state.
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