This year, the California Legislature passed and Governor Gavin Newsom signed historic measures to fight climate change, protect women’s right to choose, support small businesses, pay equity and more.
“California leads, and we do so by following our moral compass and staying true to our values,” said Governor 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’s a snapshot of some of the bills that will take effect in the New Year.
Transfer Level Courses At Community Colleges
The future is in the hands of the next generation. Assemblymember 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.
Support For Street Vendors
Sidewalk food vendors make some of the tastiest food. Governor Newsom signed SB 972 by Senator Lena Gonzalez to make it easier for these street vendors to obtain local health permits. This not only increases community health and safety, it also helps vendors formally enter the economy so they can build a successful business and better provide for their families.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Books open up a whole new world of imagination and wonder. Thanks to SB 1183 by Pro Tem Atkins and Senator Grove, children in California from ages 0-5 will be able to sign up for free books in both English and Spanish.
Holding Oil Companies Accountable
Californians deserve the right to know what oil companies are up to. SB 1322 by Senator Ben Allen will require oil companies to post how much money they’re making off Californians on their websites.
Protecting Creative Expression
Your favorite artists are now better protected in the state of California. Tyga, YG, Meek Mill, Too $hort, Killer Mike, E-40, & Ty Dolla Sign all partnered with Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer and Governor Newsom with AB 2799. This bill restricts the use of creative content like song lyrics and music videos against artists in court.
Freedom And Abortion
California prioritizes the safety of women. Assemblymember 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.
Removing The Pink Tax
Paying for certain necessities is now more affordable. AB 1287 by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan prohibits anyone from charging a different price for two goods that are similar, like razors, just because they’re marketed to women. The ‘pink tax’ is no more in California.
Lunar New Year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, And Juneteenth
Coming up next year Lunar New Year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, and Juneteenth will all be state holidays. The observances are due to Assemblymembers Low, Nazarian, and Jones-Sawyer.
Hard workers deserve to reap all the benefits. Senator Limon’s bill SB 1162 brings California a big step closer to shrinking the pay gap. This bill will expand on existing transparency laws, which mandate pay data reporting by employee sex, race, and ethnicity.