Political News

The Latest: California bill would end school 'lunch shaming'

Posted September 14

— The Latest on action in the California Legislature (all times local):

2 p.m.

California lawmakers say children shouldn't be denied a healthy meal at school if their parents fail to pay their lunch bills.

A bill to ban the practice of so-called "lunch shaming" is heading to Gov. Jerry Brown after passing the Senate on Thursday. That means students can't be publicly shamed or given a different meal than other students if their parents fail to pay. It also requires local education authorities to help families sign up for free- and reduced-lunch programs if they can't pay.

Backers of the bill say children shouldn't be used as debt-collection instruments.

Several states are pursuing efforts to stop lunch shaming kids. The U.S. Agriculture Department now requires districts to adopt policies to inform parents about meal debts, but it's not banning any practices.

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11:45 a.m.

California lawmakers have approved a bill requiring pet stores to sell dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue operations.

It now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown.

It bans pet stores from selling animals bred in so-called "puppy mills" and other mass-breeding operations. Instead, stores must work with public animal control agencies, shelters or rescue groups.

The stores must keep records for up to one year showing where they get the dogs, cats and rabbits they sell.

No Assembly members spoke against the bill. Supporters say it ensures only animals bred healthily and humanely are sold.

Pet stores that violate the new law would face a $500 fine.

More than 30 California counties and cities already require pet stores to sell rescue animals.

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