If you want to live in a progressive state, pack up your things and head to California. California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a whole slew of legislation that will help a lot of people (and land) in the state.
1. Right to Die
Last Monday, Governor Brown signed legislation that will allow terminally ill patients to get lethal medication. Patients now will be able to die when and where they want to. Brown came to his decision after contemplating his own death.
“‘I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,’ he wrote. ‘I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others,’” NPR reports.
2. Women Must Earn Same Wage as Men (for the Same Position)
The state’s new Fair Pay Act “may be the nation’s most aggressive attempt yet to close the salary gap between men and women,” The LA Times reports.
The California Senate passed the legislation unanimously last Monday and it was accepted this week by Brown. It will close any loopholes that once “prevented enforcement of existing anti-discrimination law,” the Times reports. It will go into affect on January 1, 2016.
3. Ban on Microbeads
Last Thursday, California’s governor signed legislation that will prohibit the sale of products that contain small plastic microbeads by 2020. As we’ve reported before, these beads don’t dissolve and end up in the bellies of fish.
4. Ban on Captive Orca Breeding at SeaWorld
SeaWorld will no longer be able to breed captive Orcas in California thanks to new legislation. The breeding ban was a “last minute amendment” added last Thursday and has been hailed by animal rights activists as “the end of SeaWorld.”
5. Schools Can No Longer Use the Name “Redskins”
California is saying no to the use of the term “Redskins” in its public schools. Schools can no longer use the term as a team name or mascot. The ban will go into affect on January 1, 2017. “The new law will affect four California high schools in Merced, Calaveras, Tulare and Madera counties,” The LA Times reports.
6. Passing of Tough Earthquake Safety Rules
Los Angeles City County is now the home of incredibly strong earthquake laws. The new regulations were passed last Friday, and will require “an estimated 15,000 buildings be retrofitted so they will better withstand violent shaking,” according to the LA Times. The vote was unanimous.
7. California Divests Coal
California is taking a big step away from fossil fuels. According to the Sacramento Bee, “Senate Bill 185 will require the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and California State Teachers’ Retirement System to nix investments worth between $100 million and $200 million for CalPERS and about $40 million for CalSTRS.”
8. Marijuana Regulations (With Sights Set on Legalization)
California may soon join the ranks of Oregon and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. While California legalized the use of medical marijuana two decades ago, it has yet to make a move to legalize the drug for recreational use. The newly signed trio of bills that were signed this past Friday (the bills concern statewide rules on the growth, transport, and sale of the drug) could be “adapted for widespread use if voters make it legal by passing a 2016 ballot initiative,” The LA Times reports. “The governor worked out the new regulations with lawmakers after several years of failed attempts by the Legislature to adopt rules that address conflicting concerns of law enforcement and the billion-dollar marijuana industry.”
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