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California Lt. Gov. first woman to sign bill into state law

“I remain more determined than ever to ensure that while I may be the first to do so, I will certainly not be the last,” Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis said.
California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis displays a pair of bills she signed into law in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 31, 2022. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Story at a glance

  • Kounalakis, who is currently serving as California’s acting governor while Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is out of the state, signed a bill extending eviction protections. 

  • “I am deeply humbled to take this action and to be part of history today as the first woman in state history to sign legislation into law,” she said.

  • The bill, AB 2179, extends eviction protections through June 30 for qualifying residents who applied for assistance by March 31. 

California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis made history Thursday, becoming the first woman to sign state legislation into law.  

Kounalakis, who is currently serving as California’s acting governor, signed a bill extending eviction protections on the last day of Women’s History Month.  

“California’s nation-leading rent relief program has provided much needed relief for more than 220,000 households across the state. Today’s action will provide additional time to thousands more who are in the process of acquiring emergency relief,”  Kounalakis said in a statement.  

“I am deeply humbled to take this action and to be part of history today as the first woman in state history to sign legislation into law. I remain more determined than ever to ensure that while I may be the first to do so, I will certainly not be the last,” she added.  

The bill, AB 2179, extends eviction protections through June 30 for qualifying residents who applied for assistance by March 31.  

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) left the state on Wednesday and is scheduled to return to the state on April 12. 


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“California is leading the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and we’re committed to ensuring all of our communities can access the supports they need to get back on their feet,” Newsom said in the statement.  

“Today’s action preserves important protections so that struggling families can keep a roof over their heads as the state works to provide critical assistance to thousands of households across California.” 


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