The California Legislature passed and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several measures this year to fight climate change, protect women’s right to choose, support small businesses, pay equity and more that will go into effect starting in 2023.
“California leads, and we do so by following our moral compass and staying true to our values,” said 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.”
Here are some of the bills that will take effect in the New Year:
College Overdose Prevention
The CDPH is working with colleges and universities to prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths by providing life-saving education and federally approved opioid overdose reversal medication with Senate Bill (SB) 367. Colleges and universities can order Naloxone, a life-saving medication used for emergency treatment of opioid overdoses, at no cost.
Protecting Transgender Youth
Assembly Bill (AB) 107 will block out-of-state subpoenas and stop health providers from sharing information with out-of-state entities that relates to gender-affirming care. If the child is in California for the purpose of obtaining gender-affirming care, then state courts will have the authority to make an initial child custody determination.
Holding Oil Companies Accountable
SB 1322 by Sen. Ben Allen will require oil companies to post how much money they’re making off Californians on their websites.
Protecting Creative Expression
AB 2799 restricts the use of creative content like song lyrics and music videos against artists in court. Judges will be required to press prosecutors on the purpose behind using lyrics as evidence and determine the “possibility that the evidence will inject racial bias into the proceedings.”
Support for Street Vendors
Newsom signed SB 972 by Sen. Lena Gonzalez to make it easier for street vendors to obtain local health permits. This increases community health and safety, as well as it also helps vendors lead more successful businesses.
Free Books for Children
SB 1183 by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Sen. Shannon Grove will provide children in California from ages 0-5 free books in both English and Spanish when they sign up at Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Freedom and Abortion
Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s bill, AB 1242, prohibits law enforcement and California corporations from cooperating with or providing information to out-of-state entities regarding a lawful abortion in California. It also prohibits law enforcement from knowingly arresting a person for aiding in a lawful abortion in California.
AB 1666, also authored by Bauer-Kahan, will safeguard anyone who aids, receives or provides abortions in the state from civil penalties faced from other states.
AB 2223 will ban prosecutions for failed and terminated pregnancies, and abolishes the requirement that coroners investigate stillbirths.
Removing the Pink Tax
Paying for certain necessities will be more affordable. AB 1287 by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan prohibits anyone from charging a different price for two goods that are similar, like razors marketed towards women.
Transfer Level Courses at Community Colleges
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s AB 1705 calls for community colleges to enroll their students in transfer level math and English courses if the program they want to transfer into requires those subjects. The new law aims to remove barriers to degree completion and help students meet their academic and career goals.
Three New State Holidays
Through Assembly Bills 2596, 1801 and 1655 — Lunar New Year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and Juneteenth will all be state holidays. The bills were authored by Assemblymembers Evan Low, Adrin Nazarian and Reggie Jones-Sawyer, respectively.
Sen. Monique Limón’s bill SB 1162 will expand on existing transparency laws, which mandate pay data reporting by employee sex, race and ethnicity. It will require employers to make pay scale information available to employees and to include it in job postings.