Newsom Vetoes Bills on Condoms, Insulin

Fellow Dems aren't happy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2023 10:40 AM CDT
2 Bills Vetoed by California's Newsom Grab Attention
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, California, on Sept. 26.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Gavin Newsom has been putting his veto pen to good use in recent days, earning criticism from fellow Democrats on two bills specifically. First, on Saturday, the California governor nixed legislation that would've barred insurance companies from making consumers pay more than $35 per month out of pocket for prescription insulin, which some diabetics need daily to survive, per the AP. Newsom defended his decision by citing California's plans to soon manufacture its own affordable insulin under the brand name CalRx.

Under a contract with Civica Rx, insulin vials via this initiative would cost just $30 each. "With CalRx, we are getting at the underlying cost, which is the true sustainable solution to high-cost pharmaceuticals," Newsom explained after his veto. "With copay caps, however, the long-term costs are still passed down to consumers through higher premiums from health plans." On Sunday, Newsom then vetoed a bill that would've made free condoms available to the nearly 2 million public high school students in the state, as well as made it illegal for retailers to refuse to sell condoms to those youths, reports the AP.

Although Newsom agreed that such a measure was "important to supporting improved adolescent sexual health," it was simply too expensive of a prospect. State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who sponsored the insulin bill, called Newsom's veto a "missed opportunity" and "major setback" for California's diabetics. Meanwhile, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, state Sen. Caroline Menjivar, a Democrat who authored the condoms bill, called Newsom's veto of her legislation a "setback" for sexual health equity, per UPI. "We need to meet high school students where they are to properly address the STI crisis in California," she noted. Newsom also over the weekend vetoed bills that would've decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms and banned caste-based discrimination. (More Gavin Newsom stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.