Sacramento, CA — In a landmark bill that has many rolling their eyes and others nodding vigorously in approval, California has introduced a new measure to automatically open the doors of public restrooms after five minutes of use. This latest decree, straight from the  desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, aims to combat what he calls “restroom hogging” and improve the “efficiency of public bathroom utilization across the state.”

In his address during the signing ceremony, Governor Newsom, adorned with the usual fanfare and a few toilet paper streamers for good measure, remarked, “This is about making California more accessible for everyone. Imagine the decreased wait times at concerts, beaches, and our beloved state fairs!”

Critics, however, whisper that it might just be the most “California thing” ever, a bizarre overstep in regulation from a state already famous for legislating just about everything under the sun.

Public Restroom Efficiency and Anti-Congestion Act (PREACA)
Bill Number: AB-1123:

“In an effort to maximize the efficiency of public restroom utilities and to ensure the equitable distribution of access thereto, it shall be mandated that all public restroom doors equipped with occupancy-engaged locks will, after a period not exceeding 300 seconds from the time of engagement, automatically disengage, thereby returning to an unsecured state. This mechanism ensures that no single user may monopolize vital public amenities. It is further decreed that such automation will serve as a catalyst for expedited personal routines and foster a spirit of prompt public cooperation and hygiene consciousness. This Act shall be known colloquially as ‘The Five Minute Freshen Up Law’.”

The bill, enthusiastically sponsored by Assemblymember Lois Greenly—known for her previous legislative gems like mandatory solar panels on dog houses—explained, “It’s a simple matter of public policy efficiency intersecting with the need for environmental sustainability. Less time in the restroom equals less water and electricity use, right?”

All California public restrooms must have a timer automatically opening the door after 5 minutes.

The public response has been as varied as the state’s landscapes. In downtown Sacramento, Karen Filcher, a local barista, expressed her support.

“It’s fantastic! Those bathroom campers won’t ruin my quick coffee break anymore.” On the other hand, Bob Gruff, a truck driver, shared a different view while adjusting his baseball cap: “What’s next? Timers on our toilet paper roll?”

Among the more unforeseen outcomes of this new law is its impact on the homeless community. While advocates argue it unfairly targets those who often rely on public restrooms for basic needs, some residents see it as a necessary push. A self-described “concerned taxpayer,” Mike Hammer commented, “It’s about time. Maybe now our public places will stop being makeshift homes.”

While the bill intends to streamline and perhaps sanitize public restroom usage, critics argue it opens up a new set of problems—quite literally. Imagine, they say, being mid-sprint to the finish line when the stall door swings open. The bill has left the door open for many unintended, albeit eye-opening, consequences.