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Free Year Of Community College, And Other New California Laws


California will offer free community college to first-year students.

Governor Jerry Brown approved that measure, one of 45 new laws he signed Friday.

About half of the more than two million students attending California community college already receive free tuition based on their incomes. Almost 20,000 additional full-time students would be eligible to receive free tuition each year, based on current attendance numbers.

Legislative staff estimate that will cost the state at least $31 million each year, and more if the prospect of free tuition encourages new students to enroll. Each unit currently costs $46.

Students must apply for the fee waiver and take at least 12 credits per semester.

Rescue pets

Among the other new laws Brown signed: All cats, dogs and rabbits for sale at pet stores must be rescue animals, rather than from breeding facilities, starting in 2019. The measure still allows private breeders to sell animals directly.

Thirty-six cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have similar bans on mass breeding operations.

Parking tickets

Under another measure, the DMV will no longer be able to refuse driver’s licenses to people who have unpaid parking tickets. That law also allows low-income drivers who can’t pay parking tickets to use payment plans, before local governments can apply late fees or revoke registration.


Brown blocked new regulations for gun stores, among 14 vetoes he issued on Friday. The measure would have required commercial firearms sellers to install various security measures depending on their layout. Brown said cities and counties should get to decide if extra security measures are needed.

Brown also vetoed a measure aimed at protecting federal data and whistleblowers from the Trump administration. It would have required the secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency to collect and post data that the administration might look to erase. Brown said he is directing the secretary to preserve that data, instead of signing the new law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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