New California Laws Taking Effect New Year's Day
January 6, 2022
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 bills into law in 2021; many of them impacting people’s daily lives will take effect as soon as New Year’s Day.
A handful of laws, such as a ban on the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers and a requirement that large retailers maintain a genderless kid’s area, don’t go into effect until a couple of years from now.
Here are a few of the more noteworthy ones:
— Minimum wage: SB 3 requires the minimum wage for all industries employing 26 or more employees to rise to $15, and $14 for employers employing 25 or fewer workers.
— Cocktails to go: SB 389 allows getting cocktails and wine to go with your dinner order at restaurants extended until Dec. 31, 2026. The delivery of cocktails alone, however, ends Dec. 31.
— Traffic safety: AB 43 authorizes local authorities to reduce speed limits to protect the safety of vulnerable groups such as pedestrians and cyclists.
— Animal welfare: Proposition 12, approved by voters in 2018, makes metal enclosures that restrict pigs from turning around and cages that prevent hens from opening their wings illegal.
-- Affordable housing: A pair of new laws will make it easier to build duplexes and multi-family housing in California. Duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes could start popping up in neighborhoods currently zoned for single-family housing thanks to Senate Bill 9. In addition, Senate Bill 10 makes it easier for local governments to build multifamily housing, allowing them to bypass much of the environmental review.
— Food delivery apps: In an effort to support delivery workers and increase billing transparency, AB 286 makes it illegal for food delivery apps to retain any portion of a tip or gratuity. If the order is for delivery, that tip must go to the individual worker. If the order is for pickup, the gratuity must go to the restaurant.
— Police reform: AB 1475 protects the rights of people arrested but not yet prosecuted, forbidding law enforcement from posting mug shots of those arrested on suspicion of nonviolent crimes.
— Rape: A new law alters California’s penal code to make rape within marriage the same in every legal sense as any instance of rape.
— Police decertification: Another noteworthy new law allows police officers who have committed misconduct to be de-certified. Previously, problematic officers could sometimes find employment in other areas without repercussions. Now, they will have their license revoked and not be able to simply switch departments after being fired.
— Non-gender marketing: A new law not taking full effect until 2024 mandates that department stores with more than 500 employees must provide a gender-neutral section displaying “a reasonable selection” of items regardless of whether they’ve been traditionally marketed for either girls or boys.