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Reparations, police reform, cannabis: Here is what Governor Newsom signed into law on last day bill-signing period

It was down to the wire for these bills, though at least they made the cut where many others did not.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed landmark bills into law on Wednesday, the last day available for the governor to sign legislation.

The docket included racial justice, criminal justice, and policing reform, as well as legislation related to cannabis, rental housing, and banning hazardous chemicals and ingredients in cosmetics. 

AB 3121 and AB 3070 by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, PhD (D-San Diego) will establish anti-discrimination jury selection and "will advance the conversation of Reparations and develop ideas for how to overcome implementation challenges," respectively, according to the CA State Assembly Democratic Caucus. 

AB 2542, also known as the California Racial Justice Act, by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) prohibits the use of race, ethnicity or national origin to seek or obtain convictions or sentences.

"You know, I always take the hard things in life, and that's what I do because it's important," Weber said with a laugh during a press conference at the signing of AB 3121, AB 3070 and AB 2542. "After spending 40 years as a professor and a founder of Africana Studies at San Diego State, I know the importance of reparations, the importance of history, of getting our information correct, and basically moving California forward."

Newsom signed bills related to criminal justice and police reform as well on Wednesday. Here is just some of the legislation that will become law:

AB 1185 authorizes counties to establish a sheriff oversight board.

AB 1196 bans police use of chokeholds.

AB 1506 creates a division within the Department of Justice to review the use-of-force policy of the agency and make recommendations, as well as require a state prosecutor to investigate officer involved shootings.

AB 901 will make sure youth are referred to community programs rather than placing them on probation or having them be a "ward of the court."

SB 203 establishes stronger protections for minors who are interrogated by police.

AB 2542 requires judges to reconsider convictions and sentences if defense attorneys were able to prove that people who share the defendant’s race, ethnicity or national origin were routinely charged with a more serious offense, or sentenced more harshly, than defendants of other races. 

SB 1290 will expand on earlier efforts to decrease fines and fees on youth and families involved with the justice system.

SB 203 ups the age of right to legal counsel for youth aged 15 and younger to youth aged 17 and younger.

SB 480 standardizes police uniforms, making specific mention that police cannot wear a uniform with a camouflage print or other patterned material that closely resembles an army or state active militia uniform. 

Newsom also signed legislation related to cannabis, rental housing programs, and hazardous chemicals in cosmetics.

AB 1458 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) will increase the THC variance for edible cannabis products. 

“Currently, only edibles with a THC variance of plus-or-minus 10% can be approved for sale in the market. Industry has indicated that it is nearly impossible to produce an edible with that slight variance. AB 1458 will increase the allowable variance to a plus-or-minus 12% until January 1, 2022,” explained Assemblymember Quirk

AB 979 requires corporations to have a director from an underrepresented community. 

AB 2762 prohibits 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics in California starting in 2025.

SB 312 requires companies selling beauty or personal care products in California to report the presence of hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients in their products.

AB 434 will expedite production and reduce the cost of affordable housing. AB 434 streamlines multiple Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) rental housing programs into a single application and award process.

SB 823 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review takes the first, formal step of closing the Division of Juvenile Justice, which will help to provide youth rehabilitative services closer to home.

AB 901 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), which will end the practice of referring youth who are having problems at school to probation programs.

AB 1950 by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), which caps probation terms to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felonies.

Newsom also signed the following bills:

  • AB 646 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Elections: voter eligibility.
  • AB 732 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) – County jails: prisons: incarcerated pregnant persons.
  • AB 846 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Public employment: public officers or employees declared by law to be peace officers.
  • AB 1304 by Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) – California MAT Re-Entry Incentive Program. A signing message can be found here.
  • AB 1775 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – False reports and harassment.
  • AB 2321 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Juvenile court records: access.
  • AB 2425 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Juvenile police records.
  • AB 2512 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Death penalty: person with an intellectual disability.
  • AB 2606 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) – Criminal justice: supervised release file.
  • AB 3043 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Corrections: confidential calls.
  • AB 3234 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Public Safety. A signing message can be found here.
  • SB 1126 by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) – Juvenile court records.
  • SB 1196 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Price gouging.

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