New California Laws

California’s legislature adjourned Sept. 13, leaving hundreds of bills awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s final stamp of approval. The Xpress has covered three. Here’s a distillation of five more.

Given Newsom’s signature, SB24 would require public university health centers to offer abortion medications beginning 2023. For the 1,038 students who obtain abortions at these colleges every month, the bill would help remove financial, scheduling and traveling barriers, according to an August 2018 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls would receive funding to allocate $200,000 per university. 

Spurred by a statewide string of high-profile police shootings, AB392 mandates that California police officers can legally use deadly force “only when necessary in defense of human life.” The standard strays from a Supreme Court precedent that has allowed excessive force if it’s “objectively reasonable.” A last-minute compromise saw the word “necessary” removed from the bill’s text, leaving much of its impact up to the courts. Signed by Newsom Thursday, the law will take effect beginning 2020.

AB1383 would require three senior administrators of a public university to sign off on the special admission of any student. Inspired by the college admissions scandal earlier this year, the bill reached Newsom’s desk days before a judge sentenced actress Felicity Huffman to 14 days in federal prison for bribery. If signed by Newsom, it will take effect in the fall 2020 academic year.

AB12 would allow school teachers, administrators and employers to file for the court-mandated removal of guns from people they consider a danger to the public or themselves. California previously reserved this right for law enforcement and a student’s family, but lawmakers expanded it in response to the Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 17 people last year.

California will disallow the incarceration of inmates at private prison facilities by 2028 if AB32 passes. With Newsom’s signature, the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would no longer enter or renew contracts with private prisons inside and outside the state beginning next year.