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California Legislature sends bill to Gov. Newsom that would ban cosmetics with chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Wednesday, California’s legislature passed a bill banning the sale of cosmetic products that contain 26 toxic chemicals known to affect human health. The bill advances to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign it into law.

Driven by the unwavering commitment of the legislation’s author, Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), Assembly Bill 496 would ban hazardous substances like some borate compounds, lily aldehyde, cyclotetrasiloxane, trichloroacetic acid, styrene and certain colors.

An Attempt to Legally Mandate Native Plants Throughout California Has Failed

This is a story of the influence of interest groups on the process of making new laws.  When Assembly Bill 1573 was introduced in February 2023, it seemed to be primarily a water-saving measure that would “eliminate the use of irrigation of nonfunctional turf” (turf that is not a recreational area or community space with foot traffic).

AB 1573 Reaches a Stopping Point: The bill’s 2023 fate marks a victory for the status quo, but change is on the horizon.

Yesterday, at the request of Assemblymember Laura Friedman, AB 1573 entered the California Legislature’s  “inactive file,” therein ending its run this legislative season. The Assemblymember’s transformative legislation was derailed by last-minute amendments on Sep. 1 as it passed through the California Senate Appropriations Committee. Sponsored by CNPS, the bill would have implemented California’s first requirement for the inclusion of low-water native plants in public and commercial landscapes.

Keep off the grass

BROWN IS THE NEW GREEN: Nearly all of California is officially out of the drought, but one emergency rule that targets bright green lawns is on its way to becoming permanent.

Telehealth bill advances in California Senate

A California bill that would allow a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to be established remotely is making progress despite opposition from the California VMA (CVMA), AVMA and others. Veterinarians worry that the use of telemedicine without a previously established in-person relationship will produce more incidents of inaccurate diagnoses and ineffective treatment plans, more unnecessary prescriptions, and delays in accurate diagnoses and correct therapy.

Legislative Update: Nearing the End of Session

It's time for a quick update on bills that are still alive in the legislature. All bills moving forward must have passed to the floor of the second house already, and the Senate and Assembly must pass all bills by September 14. The governor has until October 14 to sign or veto those that pass. Because this is the first of a two-year session, some bills could be held or revived next year.

Editorial: Telehealth is good for people — and for their dogs and cats too

In much the way that telehealth medicine has brought medical resources to people who won’t or can’t travel to a doctor’s office, veterinary telehealth brings care to pets whose people can’t make it to a veterinarian’s office.

But in California, veterinary telehealth is so highly restricted that it is mostly used for follow-up care after an in-person visit or for triage in an emergency.

Sensible Restriction on Rat Poisons Deserves Bipartisan Support

Spearheaded by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Assembly Bill 1322 would restrict the use of another rodenticide, diphacinone, and push for better wildlife protections. Getting second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides off the market made things safer, but mountain lions, eagles and other wildlife continue to be poisoned.

A 2022 study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found that nearly half of wildlife tested had exposure to three or more anticoagulant rodenticides.

Speed Camera Bill Has Bent Over Backwards to Answer Opponents

For years, proponents of speed cameras, which have proven to reduce vehicle speeding, have been trying to get a bill through the state legislature to allow their use in California. While these bills have met with strong support, there has also been opposition based on a range of objections including equity and privacy. Opposing organizations include police unions, the ACLU, and a few small organizations that support "motorist rights."

Active Transportation Slate Hangs in Suspense in CA Senate

As we near the end of the legislative calendar, it’s crunch time for bills that aim to make biking and walking safer for all Californians. CalBike supports a slate of six bills currently in the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee. We only have until September 1, 2023, to move them forward, or these measures will fail.