New California Laws in 2020
By edhat staff
Starting January 1, 2020, several new laws will go into effect addressing issues like housing, gun ownership, healthcare, and more in California.
Here's a look at new state laws to know at the start of the new year:
AB 375: Data privacy for consumers
The state's sweeping new consumer data privacy law gives Californians the right to learn what companies like Facebook and Google know about them — and to stop the sharing or selling of their data. They will also be able to sue over data breaches if companies fail to adequately protect their data.
AB 539: Predatory lending
Caps the interest that can be charged on loans between $2,500-$10,000.
AB 218: Statute of limitations: Childhood sexual abuse
Extends statute of limitations for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse to report their abusers from age 26 to age 40.
AB 602: Deepfake pornography
Allows a victim of nonconsensual deepfake pornography to sue for damages.
SB 273: Statute of limitations: Domestic violence
Extends statute of limitations for domestic violence felonies from 3 years to 5.
SB 310: Felons serving on juries
Convicted felons who have completed their sentences, parole, probation and supervision will no longer be disqualified from serving as jurors.
SB 439: Prosecution of children under 12
Ends the prosecution of children under age 12 who commit crimes other than murder and forcible sexual assault.
SB 30: Domestic partnership expansion
Opens up domestic partnerships to all Californians, regardless of age or sexual identity. Until now, they've been restricted to same-sex couples, or opposite-sex couples aged 62 and up (for social security reasons).
AB 1707: Smart phones in polling places
Allows voters to use handheld electronic devices to help them cast their ballots at polling places, as long as they don't violate other election laws.
AB 2188: Campaign finance disclosure: Digital ads
Requires digital ads to clearly display "Who funded this ad?" and link to a website that contains such disclosures.
SB 47: Campaign finance disclosure: Ballot measure petitions
Requires signature petitions for initiatives, referenda and recalls to list their campaigns' top contributors.
SB 1249: Animal testing ban: Cosmetic products
Bans sale of cosmetic products with ingredients that were tested on animals on or after January 1, 2020.
SB 8: Smoking ban: State parks and beaches
Bans smoking at state parks and beaches. It comes with a caveat: people can still smoke on paved surfaces like parking lots.
AB 205: Definition of 'beer'
Expands the definition of beer to include alcoholic beverages fermented with fruit, honey, herbs and other newly approved ingredients.
AB 619: Reusable food containers
Allows restaurant customers to bring — and eat with/from — their own food containers and silverware. It also allows food vendors at fairs, festivals, and farmers markets to use reusable items, which has been against the code until now.
SB 677: Foodserver latex glove ban
Prohibits the use of latex gloves in food facilities and retail food establishments and requires food employees to use nonlatex utensils, including nonlatex gloves.
AB 577: Maternal mental health coverage
Ensures that mothers diagnosed with a maternal mental health disorder whose providers leave their insurance network can still see that provider and be fully covered for up to 12 months. A separate change in the budget extends Medi-Cal coverage to moms with mental health disorders to one year, up from the current 60 days.
State Budget: Health insurance mandate
Californians who go without health insurance in 2020 will have to pay a penalty on their 2021 tax returns, under a new state-imposed mandate. Gov. Newsom has proposed using revenue from this mandate to fund premium assistance for low and middle income Covered California enrollees.
State Budget: Medi-Cal benefits
Allows adults enrolled in Medi-Cal to obtain several optional benefits that were eliminated during the recession. Among them: audiology, incontinence creams and washes, eyeglasses, podiatry, speech therapy.
State Budget: Health coverage for undocumented young adults
Expands Medi-Cal coverage to income-eligible undocumented young adults ages 19-25.
AB 1482: Rent cap and tenant protections
Caps annual rent increases at 5% plus inflation, and prohibits landlords from evicting tenants without just cause.
AB 68: Accessory dwelling units
Makes it cheaper and faster for Californians to build granny-flats on their property, considered a way to address state's housing crisis.
SB 329: Housing voucher discrimination
Prohibits landlords from issuing blanket denials against the 300,000 low-income Californians who receive Section 8 housing vouchers.
AB 588: Dog bite disclosure
Requires public and private animal shelters to disclose a dog's biting history to a potential new owner if a dog has broken a human's skin at age 4 months or older.
AB 5: Independent contractor rules
Codifies California Supreme Court decision that established a new test for classifying workers as independent contractors, while providing exemptions for a number of industries.
AB 9: Workplace harassment complaints
Extends time limit to file complaint of workplace harassment or discrimination with the state Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing from 1 year to 3.
SB 1343: Sexual harassment training
Requires employers to provide sexual harassment training to all employees. Under current law, only supervisors at most employers have to receive training.
SB 142: Lactation rooms at work
Expands requirements for lactation rooms in workplaces and requires employers provide female workers a break each time they need to express milk.
SB 188: CROWN Act: Hair-based discrimination
Known as the CROWN Act, prevents discrimination in workplaces and schools based on traits historically associated with race, including certain hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
The bill extends the prohibition from buying more than one handgun a month to include semiautomatic rifles as well.
The law that prohibits people from purchasing more than a handgun a month would be extended to those who want to buy a long gun as well. The law would also restrict people under the age of 21 from buying a gun.
Prohibits a person from owning a gun for life if they've been admitted into a health facility more than once within a one-year.
A person who is admitted because they were either a danger to themselves or others would have a lifetime ban from owning a gun. That person would be able to request a court hearing to prove that they will be able to use a firearm safely. The burden would fall on the district attorney to show strong evidence that the person in question would use a gun on themselves or others.
This law extends the amount of time before a person can buy a gun to five years, if they have a gun violence restraining order placed against them.
The new law would allow a law enforcement officer to file for a gun violence restraining order on behalf of their agency. The bill would also change how long a restraining order and the renewal to from one to five years.
The court would determine how long the restraining order would last by considering how long that person would remain a threat. If someone has a restraining order against them, they could try once a year to submit a request to terminate the restraining order.
Police Use of Force
The California Act to Save Lives, introduced this year by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), redefines the Police Use of Force by:
- Use of lethal force would be authorized only when necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death.
- Police departments can discipline or fire officers who use unnecessary deadly force.
- Officers could face criminal charges where the use of force was not in self-defense or in defense of another person.
- Officers should use warnings, verbal persuasion, or other nonlethal methods of resolution or de-escalation where the use of deadly force is not deemed necessary.
(The majority of the list was compiled by Capital Public Radio)