As always, New Year’s is a time for people to make resolutions. A resolution is a promise to oneself that they will change something and do something in a new, different, and better way. Why else make the resolution? So it is with state laws, we hope. As the old year comes to a close and a new year rings in, new laws take effect. Will we like them? Are they for the good of the order? Only time will tell. But we have to know what they are. So as we wish adieu to 2021 and say hello to 2022 hoping it brings better health at the very least to the planet, let’s unpack some of the new laws that are taking effect in the Golden State.
Governor Newsom signed a mammoth 770 new laws in 2021 and although some will not take effect on Day 1 like mandating mental health instruction in schools or requiring gender-neutral toy sections in stores, most will. I will review, in no particular order, the ones that might be most impactful to everyday life or interesting for the average Californian.
“Assembly Bill 89 would require all community colleges in California to create a universal policing curriculum, and it would raise the minimum age for new officers from 18 to 21. The new law would also require that, in four years, all incoming officers have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.”
“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.””
As someone who does not drink I do not know how I feel about Senate Bill 389 which allows “to-go” booze along with “to-go” food until 2027, providing a five-year extension of an emergency rule from early in the pandemic.
“Beverages sold for off-premises consumption must be sold with food. Law also requires drinks be in sealed and labeled containers and picked up by the customer, who must still provide identification. Customers are limited to two to-go alcoholic beverages per individual meal.”
Oh, and don’t expect plastic forks or condiments unless you ask.
My fear, too many kids have fake IDs and too many idiots may open the booze and start drinking in the car and eating with their hands.
But, slower speed limits are taking effect or at least a law that allows California cities more control over how speed limits are set instead of using an old rule that essentially caused speed limits to go up every few years. But they can’t enforce them until June 30, 2024. So hopefully the booze-to-go doesn’t go too fast.
Moving on to Assembly Bill 362 which is a boost to the ever growing homeless population. This bill requires “cities and counties to enforce uniform, statewide health and safety standards at homeless shelters — the same as mandated for residential dwellings”.
Speaking about homelessness I move on to Senate Bill 10 which makes it easier for local governments to build multi-family units “of up to 10 units per parcel without a lengthy environmental review process”.
I suppose if it’s affordable housing it will be helpful. If it’s out of touch for the average Joe then it only exacerbates an unaffordable housing issue.
Staying with housing as that is the dire issue in California we come to Senate Bill 9 which “makes it easier to split a property into a duplex by removing some of the layers of bureaucracy and review”. Again, if it’s going to price out the average Jane or Joe in rent then it exacerbates a problem.
Moving away from housing and onto sleep. Yes, sleep. Set those alarms for later if you are a student. Senate Bill No. 328 will give students extra shut eye starting July 1, 2022 so hang in there a few more months and for the coming 2022-2023 school year you won’t be starting school earlier than 8-8:30am. And for those girls who still feel rushed and forgetful in the morning even with a few extra minutes and it’s that time of the month AB-367 Menstrual products “requires public schools to stock restrooms from grades 6-12 with an adequate supply of free products in all women’s restrooms and all-gender restrooms, and in at least one men’s restroom, before the start of the 2022–23 school year”. It also requires the Cal State system and community colleges to supply menstrual products as well.
Animal activists might be happier to know that Proposition 12, Farm Animal Confinement passed 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…..
So activists may not be happier. No animal should ever be treated inhumanely. And if that makes animal activists frown this may make them growl: Senate Bill No. 395 is a pilot program starting January 1 that allows people to collect and eat roadkill.
However, this one warms my heart: the establishment of more canine blood banks.
Under the new law, veterinarians in the state will be able to operate canine blood banks similar to the voluntary model used for people, which is anticipated to help increase the amount of lifesaving supplies needed to heal injured or ailing pets.
Vote by Mail is here to stay which makes great sense – thank you to Assembly Bill 37. But for those in-person diehards, you can still go to the polls.
If you are unhappy with your haircut or facial now you may be less happy after Senate Bill 803 takes effect. It cuts down training time for barbers and cosmetologists to 1000 hours from 1600 hours for cosmetologists and 1500 hours for barbers.
“Advocates say it’ll cut down on debt and let trainees in the industry get to work faster.”
I’m holding off on my opinion on how I feel about someone who may be practicing on my hair or face. Sorry advocates. I’m all for trainees but it depends if this extends to Botox needles.
Assembly Bill 1096 strikes the word “alien” from the California state code. The politically correct usage will now be words like noncitizen or immigrant because alien is politically divisive. We can keep aliens to where they legitimately belong, in outer space.
Women’s rights groups will be happy with Senate Bill No. 826 requiring corporations to add more women to their boards of executives.
In protecting everyone a new law that takes effect on July 1, 2022 “makes 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 DIY guns: purchased in parts and assembled at home, making them hard to track.
And last but least for those who may not be with us much longer and feel it’s time to leave their earthly body with dignity the wait period for terminally ill patients to request the drugs that will assist their death has been reduced Starting Jan. 1. May the families and patients find comfort with this change.
For any laws that I may have missed feel free to review the following link. Happy New Year and happy reading!
Sherri Margolin (Margolin & Lawrence)