California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Sunday that would have given free condoms to public high school students citing that the move would be too costly for the state.
“While evidence-based strategies, like increasing access to condoms, are important to supporting improved adolescent sexual health, this bill would create an unfunded mandate to public schools that should be considered inthe annual budget process,” Newsom wrote in a two-page letter addressed to members of the California State Senate.
Introduced by Democratic Senator Caroline Menjivar, the bill was co-authored by fellow Democratic senators Susan Rubio and Scott Wiener as well as Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson, D-Suisun City, and among of hundreds approved by the state Legislature before lawmakers adjourned last month.
Newsom: Bill rejected due to a shortfall of more than $30 million
Had Senate bill 541 become law, it would also have prohibited retailers from refusing to sell condoms to youth.
“We enacted a budget that closed a shortfall of more than $30 billion through balanced solutions that avoided deep program cuts and protected education, health care, climate, public safety, and social service programs that are relied on by millions of Californians,” Newsom wrote explaining why he rejected the bill. “This year, however, the Legislature sent me bills outside of this budget process that, if all enacted, would add nearly $19 billion of unaccounted costs in the budget, of which $11 billion would be ongoing.”
“With our state facing continuing economic risk and revenue uncertainty, it is important to remain disciplined when considering bills with significant fiscal implications, such as this measure,” Newsom said.
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Newsom vetoes other bills
The bill was among a slew the governor rejected over the weekend.
Just one day earlier, on Saturday, Newsom vetoed another bill (Senate Bill 58) aimed at decriminalizing possession and use of certain hallucinogens, including psychedelic mushrooms. Click here to read more.