SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — California now has more than 700 new laws on the books following Governor Gavin Newsom’s bill signing deadline.
Among the final bills to secure his signature, one law makes it illegal to harass people entering a vaccination clinic. Effective immediately, it’s a misdemeanor to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct anyone on their way to get any kind of vaccine. There could even be penalties of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.
Other approved legislation includes a requirement for large department stores to have a gender-neutral toy and childcare section. Another law requires high school students take ethnic studies in order to graduate, starting with the class of 2030.
Newsom approved a total of 770 bills and rejected 66 bills.
One of the rejected bills would have decriminalized jaywalking. It was an effort to repeal what some lawmakers consider outdated state laws that are not enforced fairly across communities.
In his veto message, he wrote he was concerned the bill would unintentionally reduce pedestrian safety, noting California has the highest total number of pedestrian fatalities in the nation.
Another vetoed bill would have required big cities and counties to keep the pandemic-related practice of remote participation for public meetings through call-in or internet-based options. In his veto message, the governor said it limited flexibility and could increase costs for the affected local governments.
Overall, the governor approved more than 90% of the bills sent to his desk. Newsom said this year is a reminder of all that his administration and the State Legislature can accomplish together.