California Legislators Debate Froot Loops and Free Condoms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California state lawmakers this yr are persevering with their progressive tilt on Health coverage with dozens of proposals together with a ban on a Froot Loops ingredient and free condoms for top schoolers.

As states more and more fracture alongside partisan strains, California Democrats are stamping their supermajority on laws that they’ll take into account till they adjourn on the finish of August. However the price of these proposals will probably be a significant factor given the enormity of the state’s deficit, at present estimated at between $38 billion and $73 billion.

Health Protection

Lawmakers are once more contemplating whether or not to create a government-run, single-payer Health Care system for all Californians. AB 2200 is Democratic Meeting member Ash Kalra’s second such try, after an analogous invoice failed in 2022. The value tag can be monumental, although proponents say there would even be associated financial savings. The excessive potential price left Meeting Speaker Robert Rivas and others skeptical IT might change into legislation whereas the state faces a deficit.

AB 4 would require Covered California, the state’s Health insurance coverage alternate, to supply Health insurance coverage insurance policies to people who find themselves in any other case not capable of receive protection due to their immigration standing, to the extent IT can beneath federal legislation. That would ultimately result in Health-insurance/”>backed insurance coverage premiums just like these offered in Colorado and Washington.

Medical Debt

Health Care suppliers and assortment companies can be barred from sharing sufferers’ medical debt with credit score reporting companies beneath SB 1061. The invoice would additionally prohibit credit score reporting companies from accepting, storing, or sharing any such Information with out client consent. Final yr, the Biden administration introduced plans to develop federal guidelines barring unpaid medical payments from affecting sufferers’ credit score scores. California can be the third state to take away medical payments from client credit score stories.


The Medi-Cal program, which gives Health Care for low-income folks, can be required to cowl medically supportive meals and diet beginning July 1, 2026, beneath AB 1975. The invoice builds on an current however restricted pilot program. The laws says Californians of coloration may benefit from ample meals and diet to fight largely preventable persistent Health situations, and IT’s one of 14 measures sought by the California Legislative Black Caucus as a part of reparations for racial injustice.

Greater than 1.6 million California residents, Health-coverage-immigrants-medicaid-disenrollment/”>disproportionately Latinos, have been kicked off Medi-Cal for the reason that state resumed annual eligibility checks that have been halted throughout the covid-19 pandemic. AB 2956 would have the state search federal approval to sluggish these disenrollments by taking steps comparable to letting folks 19 and older preserve their protection mechanically for 12 months.

Violence Prevention

A rise in assaults on Health staff is prompting lawmakers to contemplate boosting criminal penalties. In California, easy assault towards staff inside an ER is taken into account the identical as easy assault towards nearly anybody else, and carries a most punishment of a $1,000 high quality and 6 months in jail. In distinction, easy assault towards emergency medical staff within the subject, comparable to an EMT responding to a 911 name, carries most penalties of a $2,000 high quality and a yr in jail. AB 977 would set the identical most penalties for assaulting emergency Health Care staff on the job, whether or not they’re within the subject or an ER.

California might toughen penalties for interfering with reproductive Health Care providers. Posting private Information or pictures of a affected person or supplier can be a felony if considered one of them is injured in consequence. AB 2099 additionally boosts penalties for intimidation or obstruction.

Beneath SB 53, gun homeowners must lock up their weapons in state-approved safes or lockboxes the place they might be inaccessible to anybody however the proprietor or one other lawfully approved person. Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino, the invoice’s creator, says that may make IT more durable for anybody, together with kids, to make use of weapons to hurt themselves or others or use the weapons to commit crimes. Critics say IT would make IT more durable to entry the weapon when IT’s wanted, comparable to to counter a house invasion. Relatedly, AB 2621 and AB 2917 deal with gun violence restraining orders.

Substance Use

The Health-report/”>spike in drug overdoses has prompted a number of responses: AB 3073 would require the state’s public Health division to companion with native public Health companies, wastewater therapy services, and others to pilot wastewater testing for traces of harmful medicine in an effort to pinpoint drug scorching spots and determine new medicine. AB 1976 would require office first-aid kits to incorporate naloxone nasal spray, which can reverse opioid overdoses. And senators have proposed at least nine bills aimed toward curbing overdose deaths, notably from the lethal artificial opioid fentanyl.

Youth Welfare

Beneath AB 2229, backed by a “Know Your Period” marketing campaign, faculty districts’ intercourse training curricula must embrace menstrual Health. There was no registered opposition.

Public faculties must make free condoms out there to all pupils in grades 9 to 12 beneath SB 954, which might assist stop undesirable pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, in response to the creator, Democratic Sen. Caroline Menjivar. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed Health-equity-safety-yhes-act”>an analogous invoice final yr.

Actuality present star Paris Hilton is backing a bipartisan invoice to require extra reporting on the therapy of youth in state-licensed short-term residential therapeutic applications. SB 1043 would require the state Division of Social Providers to put up Information on using restraints and seclusion rooms on a public dashboard.

California would broaden its regulation of hemp merchandise, which have change into more and more common amongst youths as a strategy to bypass the state’s adults-only restrictions on authorized hashish. AB 2223 would construct on a 2021 law that Meeting member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry stated in hindsight didn’t go far enough.

Public faculties would, beneath AB 2316, usually be barred from offering meals containing crimson dye 40, titanium dioxide, and different probably dangerous substances, that are at present utilized in merchandise together with Froot Loops and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. IT’s Democratic Meeting member Jesse Gabriel’s follow-up to his laws final yr that tried to ban a chemical utilized in Skittles.

Ladies’s Health

AB 2515 would ban the sale of menstrual merchandise with deliberately added PFAS, also referred to as “Health“>perpetually chemical compounds.” PFAS, brief for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been linked to critical Health issues. Newsom vetoed a previous attempt.

Public grade faculties and neighborhood faculties would, beneath AB 2901, have to supply 14 weeks of paid go away for pregnancies, miscarriages, childbirth, termination of pregnancies, or restoration. Newsom vetoed a similar bill in 2019.

AB 2319 would improve enforcement of a 2019 legislation aimed toward lowering the disproportionate fee of maternal mortality amongst Black ladies and different pregnant ladies of coloration.

Social Media

Social media firms might face substantial penalties in the event that they don’t do sufficient to guard kids, beneath AB 3172. The measure would permit monetary damages of as much as $1 million for every little one beneath age 18 who proves in court docket they have been harmed, or thrice the quantity of the kid’s precise damages. The business opposes the invoice, calling IT harmful censorship.

Cyberbullies might face civil liabilities as much as $75,000 beneath SB 1504, and people damages could possibly be sought by anybody. Beneath present legislation, damages are capped at $7,500 and could also be pursued solely by the state lawyer common.


Bosses could possibly be fined for repeatedly contacting staff after working hours beneath AB 2751, a “proper to disconnect” invoice patterned after comparable restrictions in 13 nations. The invoice’s creator, Democratic Meeting member Matt Haney, stated regardless of the appearance of smartphones that “have blurred the boundaries between work and residential life,” staff shouldn’t be anticipated to work across the clock. The measure is opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce.

Lastly, Democrat Anthony Rendon, a long-serving state Meeting speaker, is spending his final yr within the chamber main a first-in-the-nation Select Committee on Happiness and Public Coverage Outcomes. The committee isn’t planning any laws however intends to issue a report after lawmakers adjourn in August.

This text was produced by KFF Health Information, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially impartial service of the California Health Care Basis. 

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