New Laws in 2022
By edhat staff
It's a new year with new laws and here are just a few that go into effect today on issues from surprise medical bills to extending cocktails to-go for customers.
Federal Law: No Surprises Act
The No Surprises Act went into effect on January 1 and bans most unexpected medical charges from out-of-network providers.
It covers most emergency services provided in hospitals and urgent care centers, and applies to air ambulance services, but not ground ambulances.
The law covers non-emergency care from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities -- such as an out-of-network anesthesiologist working with an in-network surgeon or an out-of-network radiologist reading an X-ray ordered by an in-network doctor. In these situations, consumers are responsible only for their in-network deductibles, copays or coinsurance.
If patients choose to see out-of-network providers, the providers would be prohibited from billing the patients the balance unless they provide notice of their network status and estimates of charges, generally 72 hours in advance. The patients would also have to consent to receiving out-of-network care that could cost them more.
New California Laws
Cocktails to-go Until 2027
Cocktails, beer, and wine will still be able to purchase as to-go items from restaurants until 2027 courtesy of Senate Bill 389.
This is a five-year extension of an emergency rule from early in the pandemic. Beverages sold for off-premises consumption must be sold with food and must be in sealed and labeled containers, picked up by the customer, who must still provide identification. Customers are limited to two to-go alcoholic beverages per individual meal.
Two Bills to Increase Housing
Senate Bill 9 will make it easier to build duplexes and multifamily housing in lots zoned for single-family housing.
Senate Bill 10 makes it easier for local governments to build multifamily housing, allowing them to bypass much of the environmental review.
New Health and Safety Standards at Homeless Shelters
Assembly Bill 362 requires cities and counties to enforce statewide health and safety standards at homeless shelters, similar to the mandate for residential dwellings.
Local governments can also inspect shelters when they receive a complaint about substandard conditions and must follow up to ensure violations are corrected. If not, operators who don’t fix the issues can be fined.
Increase in Prescribed Burns
To minimize the risk of wildfires, a new law will reduce the liability risk for people who set prescribed fires.
Those who set the burn can still be fined if the fire gets out of control, but only if they are grossly negligent.
The standard three arrow recycling symbol will now have stricter guidelines when added to products.
It's estimated that nearly 80% of the single-use plastics Californian's put in recycle bins wind up in landfills instead.
Products will only have the recycling arrow symbol if they're collected in at least 60% of the state's curbside programs and manufacturers have until the summer of 2025 to get their products into compliance.
New Education Requirement for Law Enforcement Officers
Assembly Bill 89 would require all California community colleges to create a universal policing curriculum. The new law would also require that, in four years, all incoming officers have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The bill will also raise the minimum age for new officers from 18 to 21.