Major bills signed and vetoed on busy Saturday for Gov. Newsom

Gov. Newsom signs, vetoes bills on busy Saturday

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken action on a slew of bills. He has until Oct. 14 to act on legislation that lawmakers have sent to his desk.

Newsom vetoed some Saturday, including a measure that would have made California the first state in the nation to outlaw discrimination based on caste and another that would have decriminalized the possession and use of some hallucinogens, including psychedelic mushrooms along with a bill that would have capped insulin prices.

He also signed several into law, notably a sweeping mandate requiring large businesses to disclose a wide range of planet-warming emissions.

WEBLINKList of bills signed by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 7, 2023

The governor also vetoed the Let Kids Hear Act that would have required health plans to cover medically necessary hearing aids for people under the age of 21.

The governor said he vetoed it because there are at least three programs including Medi-Cal that can help with the price of hearing aids.

Newsom signed two bills focusing on large corporations' impact on climate.

One bill requires companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenue to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, even from activities like employee travel. 

The other bill signed by the governor requires companies to release reports every two years disclosing climate-related financial risks and how they plan to reduce those risks.

The governor also signed a bill authorizing the state lands commission to approve a project to revitalize Piers 30 through 32 in San Francisco.

Here's a look at some of the other bills Newsom signed into law on Saturday:


Approved Senate Bill 770, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-S.F.). The legislation would direct the California Health and Human Services Agency (HHS) to work with the federal government to outline the requirements of a federal waiver application.

According to a press release, all California residents will be entitled to receive a standard package of health care services.

The package could include long term care support and services, which would relieve huge and growing burdens that are falling on millions of families.


California on Saturday became the first state to ban four chemicals used in well-known candies and other foods and drinks because of their link to certain health problems.

Newsom signed a law banning the red dye No. 3 chemical used as food coloring for products like Peeps, the marshmallow treat most associated with Easter. The chemical has been linked to cancer and has been banned from makeup for more than 30 years.

The law also bans brominated vegetable oil, which is used in some store brand sodas, and potassium bromate and propylparaben, two chemicals used in baked goods.

Newsom said in a signing statement that the additives addressed in the bill are already banned in various other countries. All four chemicals are already banned in foods in the European Union.

"Signing this into law is a positive step forward on these four food additives until the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews and establishes national updated safety levels for these additives," Newsom's statement said.

Just Born Inc., the company that makes Peeps, has said it has been looking for other dye options for its products.

The bill was authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat from Los Angeles.

"The Governor's signature today represents a huge step forward in our effort to protect children and families in California from dangerous and toxic chemicals in our food supply," Gabriel said in a statement Saturday.

The law doesn't take effect until 2027, which Newsom said should give companies plenty of time to adapt to the new rules.


Newsom signed a law allowing legislative staffers to unionize, a move that comes after lawmakers passed several labor initiatives amid a summer of strikes by hotel workers, actors and writers.

Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, a Democrat representing Inglewood who introduced the bill, said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in July that it was hypocritical for lawmakers to ask staffers to write legislation expanding other workers' right to unionize when those staffers themselves cannot form a union.

"Our staff aren't looking for special treatment," McKinnor said. "They're looking for the same dignity and respect afforded to all represented workers."

The law allows lower-level staff to join and form a union, but it does not apply to lawmakers, chiefs of staff or appointed officers in the Legislature.

KPIX correspondent Kenny Choi contributed to this report

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