When you sit down to do your homework, do you often think to yourself, “Boy do I have a lot to do!”? Well, we’re willing to bet that California Governor Jerry Brown thought the same when he sat down to either veto or sign the nearly 1,000 bills that landed on his desk. Here are a few that caught our attention:
Yay for the environment: Assembly Bill 1884 states that restaurants should hand out single-use straws only when customers ask for them. The goal is to reduce the waste going into the ocean and eliminate the use of plastic straws. Interestingly enough, this law does not apply to fast food restaurants, so if you go to McDonald’s and still see plastic straws being used, keep in mind that fast food chains can still hand them out. But for sit-down restaurants? If they hand out plastic straws, they can be fined up to twenty-five dollars a day. Before you start monitoring restaurants though, know that the law doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2019!
Nay for sleeping in: We were very interested when SB 328 popped up in the news. This bill involves sleeping in, after all. However, this bill, whose purpose was to have later start times at school, was vetoed by Governor Brown. Even though supporters of the bill pointed to research indicating that sleeping longer might mean students pay better attention in class, others said students could … well … just go to sleep earlier. The governor let school boards decide for themselves instead of mandating later start times across the state.
Yay for help during disasters: In the past few years, stories of raging wildfires in California have caught the attention of lawmakers. Well, this year, Governor Brown signed more than two dozen bills related to wildfires, as their numbers were expected to increase across the state. The laws will help families rebuild their homes and prevent landlords from unfairly raising rents during and immediately following wildfire emergencies.
Yay for street food: Until recently, street food had a tricky run in California. Even though food trucks were legal, the ability to sell food on street sides was severely limited. Well, Senate Bill 946 deems that selling street food is no longer a crime. The Safe Sidewalk Vending Act means street food can no longer be banned, but local governments still have to determine the type of licenses these vendors should use while selling. Oh, and if you are interested in selling food cooked at home? It is now legal to do so. The Homemade Food Operations Act currently does not require such food to be prepared at a commercial kitchen facility. That means you can make meals and sell them out of your kitchen without being fined!