California on Thursday became the first state in the nation to start setting up a health care exchange, the virtual marketplace where consumers will be able to buy coverage under the new federal health law.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two bills - SB900, by Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, and AB1602, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles - which together create the framework for the California Health Benefit Exchange.
On Thursday, the deadline for Schwarzenegger to sign or veto bills, he also approved a bill that will extend foster care benefits to age 21 and another that would increase the fines and criminal penalties for parents of chronic truants. He vetoed a measure that would have significantly increased the amount oil companies pay into a spill prevention fund.