In the last 12 months, legislators were busy.
Every year, hundreds of new laws take effect in California, and 2022 was no exception.
There were 997 laws chaptered, according to the secretary of state’s website, meaning they were signed into law with the governor’s signature.
New rules and regulations affecting everything from the classroom to the courtroom to the board room will take effect Jan. 1.
While some of these were passed in previous years, here are a few of the highlights for the legislation that will start affecting Californians with the start of the new year.
Every year, the California Chamber of Commerce puts out a list of laws to inform business owners and managers regarding changes in the workplace.
A few of the more significant ones include protections regarding how COVID-19 continues to impact families.
The state’s minimum wage is going up to $15.50 per hour, which also raises the minimum salary in California to approximately $64,480 per year, or twice what minimum wage is.
The state also passed a pay transparency law, requiring employers with at least 15 employees to publish a salary range for an advertised position, as well as create pay scale reports.
AB 1949 made time off for bereavement a protected leave of absence, which applies to all public employers and any private company with at least five employees.
Another protection for employees is SB 1044, which deals with an “emergency condition” in the workplace. Under the new law, a boss is prohibited from threatening a worker with an “adverse action” if the employee has a “reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe.”
SB 951 prolongs the wage-replacement rate for the state’s paid family leave, which was scheduled to end in 2023. The new law also increases the rate from 70% to 90% in 2025.
A law banning the so-called “pink tax,” which “prohibits a business from charging a different price for any two goods that are substantially similar, if those goods are priced differently based on the gender of the individuals for whom the goods are marketed and intended,” was also signed into law in September.
For more information on CalChamber’s policy sheet, visit bit.ly/CalChambersNewLaws.
AB 256, which was signed into law Sept. 29, “makes the California Racial Justice Act of 2020 (CRJA), which prohibits the state from seeking or obtaining a conviction or sentence on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin, applicable to cases in which judgment was entered prior to Jan. 1, 2021,” according to an Assembly floor analysis of the bill.
AB 2195 “allows a defendant to accept a plea agreement for committing a public nuisance, if the negotiated disposition includes the dismissal of one or more charges” that allege a drug-related offense.
SB 357 repeals the state’s law against loitering for the intent to commit prostitution and allows anyone with such a conviction to have it repealed, and the record sealed.
A few other laws expected to impact the criminal justice system include: AB 960, which expands “compassionate release” for sick prisoners; and AB 2167, which requires a court to consider alternatives to incarceration, including, without limitation, collaborative justice court programs, diversion, restorative justice and probation.
The California Highway Patrol also sought to remind motorists, pedestrians and riders about a host of new laws taking effect in 2022.
SB 1087 governs the record-keeping necessary for catalytic converter sales.
Lawmakers also passed a pair of laws aimed at excessive speeding: AB 2000 adds parking lots to the list of places where a speed show is illegal; and SB 1472 means drivers involved in sideshow activity, exhibition of speed or speeding over 100 mph resulting in a fatality could now be charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
AB 1909 “provides for increased protections to bicyclists by requiring vehicles passing or overtaking a bicycle in the same direction, to move over to an adjacent lane of traffic, if one is available or slow down and only pass the bicyclist when safe to do so.”
AB 2147 bars officers from “stopping pedestrians for certain pedestrian-specific violations, such as crossing the road outside of a crosswalk, unless there is an immediate danger of a crash.”
AB 1732 creates a “Yellow Alert” for CHP officers, which is similar in concept to an Amber Alert, except it targets suspects in a hit-and-run collision.
Former Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, authored a law that requires the state’s Department of Education to create the California Food Allergy Resource web page to provide voluntary guidance to school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to help protect pupils with food allergies. She also authored AB 321, which gives priority for child care services to English language-learning homes.
AB 452, which becomes enforceable Sept. 1, requires school districts to inform parents and guardians of the state’s safe-firearms storage and access-prevention laws, which “would make a school district, county office of education, charter school, private school and the department immune from civil liability for any damages relating to the notice, as specified.”
There are also laws taking effect that impact emergency credentialing (AB 1876), mandated reporters (AB 2085, AB 2274) and a host of other areas.
There are dozens of new laws affecting how public health policies are regulated in 2023.
SB 245 “prohibits a health care service plan or an individual or group policy or certificate of health insurance or student blanket disability insurance that is issued, amended, renewed or delivered on or after Jan. 1, 2023, from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment or any other cost-sharing requirement on coverage for all abortion and abortion-related services,” according to the California Medical Association. SB 1142 requires the state’s Health and Human Services Agency to establish an internet website where the public can find information on abortion services.
“The Naturopathic Doctors Act establishes the Naturopathic Medicine Committee within the Osteopathic Medical Board of California” in order to license and regulate this field, according to the CMA.
SB 367 has a health and education nexus, requiring public colleges and universities to provide information on opioid-overdose prevention, as well as making naloxone, an anti-overdose medication, available.