Weekly News Roundup for Friday, September, 23rd, 2022

A great white shark underwater surrounded by small fish
White shark CDFW photo by Liz Hellmers.

A roundup of the biggest news stories in California this week...

Inflation Relief Checks are Coming Soon

California will begin issuing “Middle Class Tax Refund” payments to California taxpayers starting in October, 2022. Some Californians will see payments of up to $1,050 hit their accounts within the next two weeks. To receive a payment, you must have filed a 2020 tax return by October 14, 2021 and meet certain conditions, including being a California resident for at least six months of the 2020 tax year. These one-time payments are part of a $12 billion inflation relief plan approved by state lawmakers this summer.

Click here to determine your eligibility and estimate the payment you can expect to receive. 

Governor Newsom Proclaims Sept. 23, 2022 as Native American Day

Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring September 23, 2022, as Native American Day in the State of California. Leaders of Native American tribes from across California gathered for the 55th Annual Native American Day celebration at the state Capitol.

Click here to read the proclamation.

Newsom also signed legislation today designed to support California Native communities and advance equity and inclusion. AB 1314 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) establishes a statewide emergency alert system for missing Native people. AB 1936, also by Assemblymember Ramos, re-designates the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law as the College of the Law. The bill advances restorative justice efforts for Round Valley Indian Tribes and Yuki people whose ancestors suffered mass killings and other atrocities funded and supported by college founder Serranus Hastings in the mid-19th century. AB 2022 by Assemblymember Ramos will remove the racist and sexist slur sq*** from all geographic features and place names in California.

Undocumented Californians Will be Able to Obtain a State ID

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the signing of legislation that will support immigrants, advance equity, and expand opportunity by allowing Undocumented Californians to obtain a State ID. 

“California is expanding opportunity for everyone, regardless of immigration status,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re a state of refuge – a majority-minority state, where 27 percent of us are immigrants. That’s why I’m proud to announce the signing of today’s bills to further support our immigrant community, which makes our state stronger every single day.”

Californians Can No Longer Be Penalized by Employers for Marijuana Use Outside of Work

On Sunday, Sept. 18th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he has signed several measures to strengthen California’s cannabis laws, expand the cannabis market and redress the harms of cannabis prohibition. Among the bills signed by the governor is AB 2188 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) protects Californians from employment discrimination based on their use of cannabis off-the-clock and away from the workplace.

The Los Angeles Times covers the story here.

California to Provide New Protections for White Sharks

On Monday, Sept. 19, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 2109, providing new protections for white sharks in California waters. White sharks, also called great white sharks, are already a protected species and an important part of the ocean ecosystem as top-level predators.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett, the bill passed the California legislature with an overwhelming majority of support. The new restrictions aim to get ahead of activities that may lead to increased interactions between white sharks and humans, and to give law enforcement more tools to protect white sharks from intentional efforts to catch or attract them. The new law also helps protect the public from interactions with white sharks that have been unintentionally hooked by fishermen by restricting when and where chum and shark bait can be used, while still allowing other legal fishing activities to continue.

Anglers should note the new rules regarding take of white sharks go into effect on January 1, 2023. These rules, found in California Fish and Game Code, section 5517, prohibit the use of shark bait, shark lures or shark chum to attract a white shark. Anglers also may not place those items into the water within one nautical mile of any shoreline, pier or jetty, when a white shark is visible or known to be present.

For more information about white sharks, please visit CDFW’s White Shark Information webpage

More Shark News: Rare Megamouth Sharks Spotted off San Diego

NBC San Diego reports a sighting of two extremely rare megamouth sharks 30 miles off San Diego earlier this month. The species was only discovered in 1976, and very few sightings – some estimate fewer than 100 – have ever been reported. Six friends on a fishing trip recorded video of the estimated 12- to 15-foot sharks, which swam slowly around their boat for about 10 minutes. Check it out!

Did You Get Your Booster Shot Yet?

Updated Covid-19 booster (bivalent) doses are now available for eligible people ages 12 and up. You can make an appointment or find a walk-in clinic at https://myturn.ca.gov/

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