california laws 2022 public safety health housing food restaurants employment

California law, legal system and justice concept with a 3d render of a gavel on a wooden desktop and the Californian flag on background.

With the arrival of the new year, Californians saw 770 new laws signed by Governor Gavin Newsom go into effect on January 1, 2022. Of the hundreds of new bills, Newsom is proud of making, “…meaningful progress on an array of issues… [and] in advancing historic measures to improve the lives of Californians, including new tools to boost our housing supply, improve workplace conditions and build a stronger state.”

So, which of the nation-leading laws will affect your health and way of life the most? You be the judge. (AB = Assembly Bill; SB = Senate Bill)

Public Safety

AB 43 provides cities more control over their speed limits (new speeds which cannot be fully enforced until 2024).

AB 48 prohibits the use of rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds during a protest or be used if someone has violated a curfew or is non-compliant with an enforcement directive.

AB 1171 removes the section in the California penal code that differentiates spousal rape from all other cases of rape.

Ghost guns (guns ordered in parts and assembled at home) may now be seized upon a judge’s order should a concerned citizen believe someone is at risk.

Health

SB 380 shortens the amount of time someone is required to wait between filing a request for end-of-life drugs from 15 days to two and eliminates the requirement of a written statement from the patient.

SB 1383 requires all excess food waste to be separated into its own organic recycling waste bin.

Beginning in the fall, public schools (grades six and above) must stock all restrooms with free tampons and other menstrual products.

Education

AB 101 requires all students to take at least one ethnic studies class to graduate starting in the 2029-2030 school year.

Beginning July 1 (and for the school year beginning in August), SB 328, signed back in 2019, goes into effect, restricting middle schools from starting classes before 8 a.m. and high schools before 8:30 a.m.

Food and Restaurants

SB 314 makes outdoor dining space in parking lots permanent, and AB 61 allows for easier access to temporary liquor licenses for restaurant pop-ups.

SB 389 makes permanent the temporary emergency order from March 2020, which allowed restaurants and bars to sell wine, beer and cocktails as a to-go item.

Housing

SB 9 allows property owners to add up to three additional housing units and SB 10 allows for the building of up to 10 units per parcel in transit-dense areas.

Employment

SB 62 requires all factory workers in the garment industry to convert piece-rate compensation to an hourly wage.

SB 331 prohibits employers from including non-disclosure clauses as part of settlement agreements in relation to discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Any business with over 25 employees must now pay all employees a minimum of $15 an hour, and those under 25 employees must pay $14 per hour.

Elections

AB 37 akes permanent the emergency mail-in ballot provision, and expands it to include all local elections.

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