Governor Newsom Signs New Laws


Anna Odell, Staff Writer

California Governor Newsom signed 770 new laws that have taken effect this January. Many of these laws were signed in October 2021.

Some of these laws include “making ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement,” “mandating mental health instruction in middle and high schools,” “requiring colleges, universities, and secondary schools to provide free menstrual products on campus,” and “making it illegal to harass people entering vaccination clinics.” 

Some officials feel that all of these laws are extremely important, especially today. 

For example, Catherin Flores Martin, executive director of the California Immunization Coalition, stated for The Los Angeles Times  that the reason this new “anti-harassment” law is so important is because “when children are getting vaccinated, some of these people feel like they need to protest, and that’s scary and extremely inappropriate.” 

There have been multiple instances of medical officials being threatened and assaulted while administering the COVID-19 vaccine. For example, Senator Richard Pan, a practicing pediatrician who has been giving out vaccines, has experienced these forms of harassment. 

People are also relieved to hear that mental health will actually be addressed in schools as well. This bill was named Assembly Bill 309, and it was a result of the sharp increase of mental health disorders amongst teenagers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The new protocol will help schools identify students who might need help and connect them with counselors or other services,” said Ed Source.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, who sponsored this bill, expressed his concern about the current mental health crisis among young people and said that this bill will give schools better and direly needed resources to help students. 

These are just two of the 770 laws that Governor Newsom signed into law. 

However, Governor Newsom vetoed 66 of the bills that were proposed to take effect this January. Some of these vetoed bills included: decriminalizing jaywalking as it could “unintentionally increase the state’s already high rate of pedestrian fatalities,” expanding college financial aid, and boosting family-leave payments. 

As Judicial Learning Center said, “laws protect our general safety, and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself.”

Many of these new laws were created and passed as a result of public complaints during the pandemic. Those who agree with the laws believe that they will help their general safety and well-being as they addressed the problems they thought were important.


Photo courtesy of PICRYL.COM