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New Laws Taking Effect Statewide

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Sacramento, CA — Hundreds of new bills are taking effect in California on this first day of the year.

There were several new laws approved during the COVID-19 shortened legislative session related to law enforcement. For example, one bill requires the State Attorney General to investigate all incidents where a police officer kills an unarmed civilian. Other bills call for additional oversight for law enforcement, including requiring evaluations of peace officers to look at any racial bias.

Related to wildfires, the state is now requiring homeowners in high-risk fire areas to clear 100 feet of defensible space. However, this won’t be enforced until the state develops specific regulations and sets aside money to enforce the measure.

Insurers must start prominently notifying policyholders if their renewal offer reduces coverage, such as eliminating fire protection.

Also, it is now illegal to require domestic workers to be in an area that is under an evacuation order.

The minimum wage is going up to $14 an hour for businesses employing over 25 people and $13 an hour for smaller businesses.

All employers must now start notifying employees promptly about potential coronavirus exposure, if anyone at the workplace tests positive or receives an isolation order.