New California Laws Taking Effect in 2023


January 5, 2023

This year, the California Legislature passed and Governor Gavin Newsom signed nearly 1000 bills into law to fight climate change, protect women’s right to choose, support small businesses and pay equity, among other issues.

“California leads, and we do so by following our moral compass and staying true to our values,” said Governor Newsom. “The Legislature is an invaluable partner, and I thank them for their leadership and courage, and look forward to continuing our work to improve the lives of Californians across the state.”

Following is a summary of ten new laws taking effect in 2023:

Expanding access to abortions

A new law, Senate Bill 1375, will give qualified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives the ability to perform first-trimester abortions in California without the supervision of a physician.

Minimum-wage bump

On Jan. 1, the minimum wage in the state will increase to $15.50 an hour. The wage has been gradually increasing under a 2016 law that brought workers’ hourly minimum pay from $10 to $15. While larger companies hit the $15 per hour minimum wage in January 2022, smaller businesses had an extra year to meet the requirement.

Eliminating the “pink tax”

AB 1287 by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan prohibits anyone from charging a different price for two products that are similar, like razors, because they are marketed to women.

Over a woman’s lifetime, it is estimated she will spend $188,000 for a product that is priced higher than the masculine equivalent.

Jaywalking is no longer a crime.

Under a new law, law enforcement can only ticket someone for jaywalking if their action created an “immediate danger of a collision.”

Catalytic Converter Theft

Two bills, AB 1740 and SB 1087, have passed to crack down on catalytic converter theft. AB 1740 requires recyclers to include additional information in the written record after receiving a catalytic converter, including the year, make, and model of the vehicle from which the device was removed.

Holding oil companies accountable.

Californians deserve the right to know what oil companies are up to. SB 1322 by Senator Ben Allen will require oil companies to post how much money they are making off Californians on their websites.

Support for street vendors

Governor Newsom signed SB 972 by Senator Lena Gonzalez to make it easier for these street vendors to obtain local health permits.

Four new state holidays

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed four new state holidays into law: April 24 as Genocide Remembrance Day, June 19 as Juneteenth, Sept. 4 as Native American Day, and the second or third new moon following the winter solstice as Lunar New Year.

New penalties for hate crimes at schools

Assembly Bill 2282, which takes effect January 1, increases penalties for people who use hateful symbols as part of hate crimes — swastikas, nooses, desecrated crosses — and expands restricted locations to include K-12 schools and colleges.

Businesses must disclose pay scales when advertising open positions

All companies with 15 or more employees are now required to provide pay scales in job postings. For companies with more than 100 employees, employers must also include “the median and mean hourly rate for each combination of race, ethnicity, and sex within each job category,” in reports to the state.


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