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School start time and the fate of fur: State reps’ bills land on the governor’s desk

State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, left, and state Sen. Anthony Portantino, center.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 13 to decide whether to sign hundreds of bills, including a California fur ban spearheaded by state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, left, and a mandated later school start time by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, center. Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian is on the right.
(File photo)

In a state legislative season marked by a slate of potentially game-changing bills — from a rent cap to reclassifying Uber drivers — local state representatives have contributed their own significant pending legislation.

With Friday marking the deadline for the legislature to pass bills, hundreds have landed on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for consideration — including several authored by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada) and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale).

One long-championed proposed measure by Portantino would send many students across the state to school later in the morning if it garners Gavin’s signature.

If SB 328 becomes law, middle school students won’t be able to start class before 8 a.m. and high school students won’t start before 8:30 a.m. It would go into effect in 2022, if signed.

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“Our teens are healthier and perform better when school starts later,” Portantino said in a statement earlier this year. “I strongly believe test scores will go up and suicidal thoughts will go down. It’s time to embrace this public-health issue and put our children’s wellbeing first.”

Former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a version of the bill last year, and another incarnation died in the assembly the year before that, but the third time may be the charm.

Another pending bill authored by Portantino would give the city of Glendale $27 million in bonds originally intended for redevelopment projects to build affordable housing.

Sponsored by Glendale, local officials are slated to speak with representatives from Newsom’s camp this week to make their case for SB 532, according to Portantino’s office.

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“Glendale needs the state to grant us flexibility on the bond dollars so we can move forward with several opportunities on the table,” Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said in a recent statement.

Both bills aim to release funds that have been tied up since former Gov. Jerry Brown shuttered redevelopment agencies in cities across California in 2012.

The fate of California’s fur industry is hanging in the balance with Friedman’s so-called fur ban, awaiting action by the governor.

Introduced last December, AB 44 would prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur products in California, with some exceptions. Violations would incur civil penalties.

“I hope that Gov. Newsom will agree that there is no place for fur in a humane and sustainable future,” Friedman said in a recent statement.

There haven’t been discussions between representatives from Friedman and Newsom, so far. However, earlier this month the governor approved a bill banning fur trapping, said Blake Dellinger, Friedman’s communications director.

“That has us hopeful,” Dellinger said.

Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto bills.

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