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California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to members of the media at Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland in September. Photo: Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Saturday a bill requiring large retailers to provide gender-neutral toy sections, per the Los Angeles Times.

Why it matters: California is the first state to adopt such a law. LGBTQ advocates have pointed out that marketing methods using pink and blue hues "pressure children to conform to gender stereotypes," AP notes.

  • The Consumer Federation of California supported the law, saying: "Keeping similar items that are traditionally marketed either for girls or for boys separated makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products and incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate," the Sacramento Bee reports.

Details: The bill, which will take effect in 2024, overcame opposition from Republicans and conservative groups, who said it was government overreach.

  • The law states that retail stores with 500 or more workers must sell toys and child care products (excluding clothes) in a gender-neutral section that's "labeled at the discretion of the retailer ... regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys."
  • Retailers can continue to offer other toys and child care goods that are traditionally marketed specifically toward girls or boys.
  • Companies that fail to comply with the new law could face a civil penalty of $250 for a first violation and $500 for any subsequent violations.

What they're saying: Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, who introduced the legislation, said "we need to stop stigmatizing what's acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids," per AP.

  • "My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes," Low added.

Of note: Retailers have in recent years been moving away from gender stereotypes — notably Target, which announced in 2015 it would stop using some gender-based signs in its stores.

Go deeper

Oct 9, 2021 - Health

California public schools to provide free menstrual products by 2022

Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday to require public schools to stock their restrooms with free menstrual products.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after many women's rights advocates have pushed nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons and other women's hygiene products.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.