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Newsom signs #FreeBritney bill to reform conservatorship laws

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law to reform conservatorships in California, after pop star Britney Spears' public fight to win her freedom from her father. 

The new law comes as a Los Angeles judge suspended Spears' father, Jamie Spears, from the conservatorship that has controlled the singer's career, financial and personal decisions for 13 years. 

The California law aims to close loopholes in a system that lawmakers say lacks accountability and transparency. Among other things, it will require nonprofessional conservators who oversee an estate valued at more than a million dollars to register as a professional, to provide training and transparency. The law also establishes a civil penalty of up to $50,000 if a court finds a conservator has not acted in the best interest of the client, and gives conservatees more control over their legal representation. 

"This bill saw unanimous support throughout the process because we know there are systemic failures when it comes to conservatorships in California," said California Assemblymember Evan Low, a Democrat who introduced the bill, in a statement after the bill passed the legislature. "We've seen the heartbreaking case of Britney Spears play out in the public eye, but there are hundreds — if not thousands — of other cases in which families are struggling. We need to do everything in our power to help them and their loved ones receive the care and support they need."

A hearing focused on whether to terminate Spears' conservatorship entirely is scheduled for November 12.

"This suspension is directly what Britney wanted, she does not want Jamie in her life," Britney Spears' attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said in court Wednesday.

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