Happy New Year – 2022 New Laws

New Laws—Every year hundreds of new laws are passed, and this year was no exception – Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a whopping 770 new laws in 2021. Here are a few that I wanted to share with you:

    • California’s minimum wage rises to $15 per hour, the final step in a six-year process. Businesses with 25 or fewer workers will have an additional year to comply and must raise their minimum wage to $14 per hour. For context, in 1997 it was $5/hr, in 2007 it was $7.50/hr, in 2017 it was $10.50/hr.

    • Sellers of olive oil marketed as being from California must include on the label the percentage of the product made from olives grown in the state.

    • SB389 authorizes California restaurants to continue selling to-go cocktails with food orders for five more years.

    • Restaurants may continue outdoor dining options where alcohol is served for an additional year once the pandemic emergency orders are lifted.

    • Beginning in June, restaurants must only provide single-use utensils and packets or cups of condiment sauces on request, similar to the existing law on single-use plastic straws.

    • Slower speed limits California cities more local control over how speed limits are set instead of using an old rule that essentially caused speed limits to go up every few years. Cities can start working toward lowering speed limits in 2022, but can’t enforce them until June 30, 2024, or whenever the state creates an online portal to adjudicate the new infractions – whichever comes sooner.

    • Middle schools and high schools will soon be required to start class no earlier than 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., respectively. Supporters say preteens and teenagers need the extra sleep for their health and development. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2022, so for most students it will impact them in the 2022-23 school year. The law exempts rural school districts.

    • SB1383 requires all California residents and businesses to sort their organic waste from the rest. The program will take effect in phases depending on where you live. If it takes you some time to get used to it, don’t stress – fines won’t start being issued until 2024.

    • Starting in the 2022-23 school year, public schools will be required to stock restrooms with free pads or tampons. The law affects public schools with grades 6 through 12, community colleges, and public universities.

    • The Anti-Bacon Law. An animal welfare law passed by voters in 2018 takes effect this year. It requires that breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves have enough room to stand and turn around. But many in the pork industry haven’t made the necessary changes and there’s a coalition of restaurants and grocers suing, hoping for a two-year delay.

    • An executive order in 2020 sent mail-in ballots to every registered voter in California as a safety measure during the COVID-19 pandemic and presidential election. AB37 makes that change permanent and expands it to include local elections. People can still vote in person if they choose.

    • A new law will make it possible for concerned family members, teachers, coworkers and employers to ask a judge to seize ghost guns from someone they think could be a danger to themselves or others. Ghost guns are guns that are purchased in parts and assembled at home, making them hard to track. The law takes effect on July 1, 2022.

    • SB803 cuts down how much training is required of barbers and cosmetologists to 1,000 hours. Previously, 1,600 was required for cosmetologists and 1,500 was required for barbers. Advocates say it’ll cut down on debt and let trainees in the industry get to work faster.

    • AB1096 strikes the word “alien” from the California state code. The word will be replaced with words like “noncitizen” or “immigrant.” Gov. Gavin Newsom said the word alien has “fueled a divisive and hurtful narrative” and this change will allow state laws to better reflect state values.

    • Starting Jan. 1, terminally ill patients won’t have to wait as long to request fatal drugs. The waiting period between the two required requests will drop from 15 days to 48 hours.

    • A new law changes the way canine blood donations work in California. Prior to 2022, all blood used by veterinarians to treat ailing dogs comes from two companies that raise dogs in cages solely to collect their blood, reports the Los Angeles Times. The new law allows for the establishment of more canine blood banks that can collect donations from dogs, much like people donate blood to blood banks.

    • AB453 makes the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex, also called “stealthing,” a form of sexual battery. California is the first state to ban stealthing.

    • SB9 makes it easier to split a property into a duplex by removing some of the layers of bureaucracy and review. Advocates say it could help with the state’s housing crisis by making it easier to add more units of housing. The details of the law are complicated, but you can read all the clauses here.

    • SB10, aims to make it easier to build housing in California. Among other things, this law makes it easier for cities to upzone transit-dense areas, allowing for the development of denser house of up to 10 units per parcel without a lengthy environmental review process.

    • AB48 prohibits police from using rubber bullets or tear gas to disperse crowds at a protest. They also can’t be used against someone just because they’ve violated “an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or noncompliance with a law enforcement directive.”

    • A law passed in 2018 required corporations to add more women to their boards of executives. The final deadline to meet requirements passes Dec. 31, 2021, meaning that by the start of 2022, companies with five directors need at least two of them to be women, and companies with six or more directors need at least three of them to be women.

    • Starting Jan. 1, the state is launching a pilot program that will allow people to collect and eat roadkill. The law allows for humans to collect and eat “deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig” that have been hit and killed by a vehicle. You’ll have to report the find and secure a permit before digging in, but the state is required to create an online and mobile-friendly way to do that.

    • AB 855 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) removes Columbus Day as a judicial holiday and replaces it with Native American Day in September.

    • AB1475 limits the circumstances in which law enforcement is allowed to release the mugshot of a suspect on social media in order to better protect the rights of people who have been arrested but not yet prosecuted.

    • AB-974 introduces new safety regulations for anyone riding horses on paved highways. With this bill, any riders under 18 will be required to wear a helmet, and anyone riding at night will be required to have either reflective equipment or a light on their body or the animal.

    • California will extend rights for Native American tribes’ use of emergency vehicles. Starting in 2022, the definition of “emergency vehicle” will be expanded to include those owned or operated by a federally recognized tribe, responding to emergencies, fires, etc. AB-798 would also exempt drivers of tribal ambulances from needing a license from the CHP Commissioner.

    • new law would require emotional support animal providers to specify in writing that the animals aren’t entitled to the same rights as guide, service, and signal animals. Doctors will also only be allowed to recommend emotional support animals if certain conditions are met, including having a relation with a patient for longer than 30 days.

    • This new law prohibits food-delivery apps, such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, from keeping any portion of gratuity meant for restaurant workers. The rule also requires that the companies itemize customers’ bills and disclose all added fees. The measure is an effort to increase billing transparency and regulate the growing app-based food-delivery industry.

    • AB362 requires cities and counties to enforce uniform, statewide health and safety standards at homeless shelters — the same as mandated for residential dwellings.

    • SB323 becomes law on January 1 and requires any legal challenges to water and sewer rate increases be filed within 120 days of the new rate taking effect.

    • The state will encourage more people to set controlled burns in order to minimize the risk of major wildfires. The law reduces the liability risk for people who set prescribed fires, which help eliminate the grass and brush that fuel devastating blazes. These so-called “burners” can still be held liable if a prescribed fire gets out of control, but only if they are grossly negligent.

    • Higher education in prisons is getting an upgrade through SB416. The new law mandates college courses taught in prisons must be free and offered by a UC, CSU, community college or other regionally accredited, nonprofit college or university.

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