Other states should follow California’s lead
As the 2019 legislative year comes to a close, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a spree of bills, paving historic advancement for the state. Among these of bills, the Editorial Board believes that four stood out, including the right to access medical abortion through public college campus clinics; the end to state contracts with for-profit, private prisons and immigrant detention centers; the ability to attend school at a later start time and the limitation of purchasing guns per month.
Senate Bill 24 will take effect in 2023, when public colleges must provide medical abortion. This law is a necessity for students, especially since clinics that provide abortion services may be too far away and out of reach. Without adequate abortion services on campus, many students are left with limited choices, which can include endangering their own health and jeopardizing their education and future. They would have to miss work or class, simply trying to figure out what is best for them to access services. The passing of SB 24 will now lift a burden off of students, so they can privately and safely utilize the services that they need.
By 2028, California is expected to sever ties with private, for-profit prisons and immigrant detention centers through the passage of Assembly Bill 32. This law will prevent new contracts from forming which is the first step to ending profiting off of others’ humanity. Without a financial incentive to keep people incarcerated, the state can focus on better rehabilitative programs. This law will ultimately be the stepping stone to prevent more individuals from cycling back into the prison system, which has turned into a money-making industry rather than a place to help individuals reintegrate into society.
The beginning of the 2022–23 school year for both middle schools and high schools will mark a change established later start times with the passage of Senate Bill 328. This law will mandate most public middle schools to begin after 8 a.m. and high schools to begin at 8:30 am or later. Research has indicated that when students have more rest, starting their day later, there is an increase in attendance as well as academic participation. The Editorial Board urges that similar changes should occur for college students as well. To often, students’ schedules could begin with 7:30 a.m. classes and end at 10 p.m. — a wide range that can cut into odd times of the day — preventing students from having regular lunch or dinner times. Cumbersome school schedules have a detrimental effect on the health of students, and such laws are crucial to deciding whether a student can academically perform at their maximum capacity.
The passage of Senate Bill 61, which will go into effect in 2021, Californians will only be able to buy one long gun per month. This law will still allow one the freedom to purchase guns, just not in bulk. With social unrest and fear over mass shootings, limiting bulk purchases of long guns — which are usually involved in such shootings — will prevent them from potentially harming others in likely events. Normalizing the fear of shootings should not be the case, where children and large crowds are getting hurt. Enough is enough.
Ultimately, these laws will cause drastic changes in social behaviors — yet they are for the better — addressing the impediments within society. These laws are the first to take on the complex issues that have polarized the country, from abortion rights to gun control. We need to wake up, even if it’s at a later start time.
Written by: The Editorial Board