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Newsom Vetoes High School Condom Bill

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Sacramento, CA — A bill that would have provided free condoms to high school students at all public schools was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Senate Bill 541 was approved in both the California Assembly and Senate, with most Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. Mother Lode lawmakers, Democratic Senator Marie Alvarado Gil, and Assemblymembers Jim Patterson and Heath Flora, were among those who voted no.

In a veto message, Governor Newsom stated that California lawmakers had to close a $30-billion shortfall this past session, and he is opposed to the additional spending. Newsom says, “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. For this reason, I cannot sign this bill.”

California has an estimated 1.9 million high school students at 4,000 schools.

Newsom’s veto message added, “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 in the annual budget process.”