Gavin Newsom signed a host of bills into law this weekend, including AB 1084, which requires “gender-neutral retail departments” in all California toy stores.
“Part of it is to make sure if you’re a young girl that you can find a police car, fire truck, a periodic table, or a dinosaur. And then similarly, if you’re a boy, if you’re more artistic and want to play with glitter, why not? Why should you feel the stigma of saying, ‘Oh, this should be shamed’ and going to a different location?”
The bill provides:
(a) A retail department store that offers childcare items or toys for sale shall maintain a gender-neutral section or area, to be labeled at the discretion of the retailer, in which a reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.
(b) This section shall apply only to retail department stores that are physically located in California that have a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations. This section shall not apply to retail department stores that are physically located outside California.
(c) Beginning on January 1, 2024, a retail department store that fails to comply with this section is liable for a civil penalty, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a first violation or five hundred dollars ($500) for a subsequent violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, or a district attorney or city attorney, in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney prevails in an action under this subdivision, the court shall award to the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
Newsom signs law to ban gas-powered lawn equipment
California will soon ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers after Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on the new law on Saturday. The move is aimed at curbing emissions from the category of small engines.
The gas-powered equipment to be banned is a broad category that includes generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers and even golf carts.
California will soon ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers after Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on the new law on Saturday.
The move is aimed at curbing emissions from a category of small engines on pace to produce more pollution each year than passenger vehicles.
The gas-powered equipment to be banned uses small off-road engines, a broad category that includes generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers and even golf carts.
Under the new law these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they’ll have to be battery-powered or plug-in.
According to the Los Angeles Times proponents of the law said it will reduce amount of smog-induced pollution in the air which will improve the air quality and combat climate change.
The law, which was authored by Democratic Assemblyman Marc Berman, is part of an aggressive strategy to reduce pollution in the nation’s most populous state.
‘This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly,’ Berman told the Times.
‘It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog forming and climate changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates,’ he added.
The state budget, approved earlier this year, includes $30million to pay for this effort and help professional landscapers and gardeners make the transition from gas-powered equipment.
But an anonymous industry representative has told the Times that the budget is ‘woefully inadequate’ for the nearly 50,000 small businesses that will be affected by the new law.
Vice President of government relations for he National Association of Landscape Professionals Andrew Bray also noted that zero-emission commercial equipment is much more expensive – and much less efficient – than its gas-powered counterpart.
He said that a gas-powered riding lawnmower costs between $7,000 and $11,000 while the zero-emissions version costs more than twice that amount, according to the Times.
The California Air Resources Board has already started working on executing the law, which is a lengthy process scheduled to conclude early next year.
But the law Newsom signed on Saturday ordered the agency to apply the new rule by January 1, 2024, or as soon as regulators determine is ‘feasible,’ whichever date is later.
Will Barrett, director of clean air advocacy for the American Lung Association in California, said: ‘Gov Newsom signing (this law) really sets a strong course to not only his commitment to transitioning to zero emissions but also to cleaner air and healthier lungs.’
California is the only state with the authority to regulate air quality this way in this way, which is part of an exception carved out by federal law in the 1970s.
While other states can’t enact their own regulations, they can choose to follow California’s lead.
This isn’t California’s first statewide effort to go greener. Last year the state’s regulators approved a first-of-its-kind rule to force automakers to sell more electric work trucks and delivery vans.
Also in 2020 Newsom ordered regulators to ban the sale of all new gas-powered cars and trucks in California by 2035 – a date that has since been embraced by some of the world’s largest automakers.
California has more than 16.7million of these small engines in the state, about 3million more than the number of passenger cars on the road.
The west coast state was the first government in the world to adopt emission standards for these small engines in 1990. But since then emissions in cars have vastly improved compared with smaller engines.
Now state officials say running a gas-powered leaf blower for one hour emits the same amount of pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver – a distance of about 1,100 miles.
The law Newsom signed also orders regulators to offer rebates for people to change out their equipment, which is aimed at landscaping businesses that use these machines more often.
Portable gas-powered generators must also be zero-emissions by 2028, which also could be delayed at the discretion of the state agency.