Voter-approved rules from January 1 have prompted concerns about potential shortages of bacon and other pork products, amid last-minute calls to delay the new rules.
Sacramento, Calif. — It’s not often that Bacon leads the round of new laws that take effect with the new year in California.
But even in progressive California, it’s going to be in the spotlight.
It is designed to reduce criminal penalties to protect employees, shield those seeking abortion, protect protesters from police, protect children from gender influences in store displays, and reduce mass incarceration, among many others. One of the laws.
Several laws mark national “firsts”—the first to reach the minimum wage of $15 an hour, the first to protect warehouse workers from quotas, the first to mandate hourly wages for garment workers, the first gender-neutral. performance is required.
They are among hundreds of new laws that address everything from stealthy removal of condoms to handing over disposable packages of condiments.
What about bacon?
Sausage making stems from a 2018 ballot measure where California voters set the nation’s toughest living standards standards for breeding pigs starting January 1.
Industry lawsuits opposing the initiative failed, but grocers and restaurant businessmen are now suing for a 28-month delay. Critics, including some lawmakers on both sides, have called for enforcement to be put off by 2024 on fears prices will rise and jobs will be lost.
California is allowing continued sales of processed pork under old rules, which proponents say should blunt any shortages and price increases.
$15 minimum wage
California has become the first state to require a $15-per-hour minimum wage for businesses with more than 25 employees, although Washington, D.C. and several California cities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Areas have already achieved that milestone. have reached.
The minimum for businesses with 25 or fewer employees increases to $14 with the new year and will increase to $15 per hour on January 1, 2023. From then on, wages would increase annually based on inflation.
The increase was set in motion by a 2016 law. Similarly, Illinois and New Jersey are raising their minimum wages by $1 each year until they reach $15 an hour in 2025.
housing and homelessness
Gavin Newsom promised to double down on addressing California’s affordable housing and related homelessness problem after easily defeating a recall election in September.
A few days later, he approved two measures designed to circumvent local zoning ordinances. One allows local governments to reorganize neighborhoods near mass transit to 10 housing units.
The second required cities to sanction four housing units, which was a lot for a family, over objections from municipal leaders. Some cities were rushing to pass ordinances before the law took effect, while other opponents were gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would restore local control.
safety of employees
California has become the first US state to prohibit warehouse retailers like Amazon from interfering with bathrooms and rest breaks by firing workers for missing quotas. It also became the first state for the textile industry to pay workers by the hour.
It now also prohibits covert employment settlements involving discrimination based on race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, expanding on the 2018 law.
Two are among two dozen new higher education laws that seek to make it easier for students in community colleges to transfer to public universities. One streamlines the application process to what students have described as a maze, while the other requires community college classes to have the same course numbers as comparable courses at four-year colleges, to reduce confusion.
recycling and waste
California is expanding its existing law that allows restaurants to only distribute single-use straws upon request. Now take-out places can offer consumers single-use condiment packages like ketchup and mustard and utensils like knives, forks and spoons on demand.
It is one of several new laws enacted to cut waste. One sets what advocates call “chasing arrows” the nation’s strictest standards for recycling symbols. Another strict rule for what can be used in compost.
Yet California regulators say the “biggest change in trash in 30 years” came from a law passed in 2016 that takes effect Jan.
It requires local governments to provide organics recycling collection to all residents and businesses, and requires businesses and large food producers to donate unsold food to distribute to Californians in need.
gender-neutral store display
California has become the first state to require large department stores — which have at least 500 employees — to display products such as toys and toothbrushes in gender-neutral ways.
The requirement does not include clothing and does not prohibit traditional boys and girls classes. But it added that larger stores should also have a gender-neutral section that displays an “appropriate selection” of items “whether they have been traditionally marketed to girls or boys.”
Enforcement will not begin until January 1, 2024.
ban the police
Several laws that failed in 2020 were signed into law in 2021 despite national unrest over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer.
They include measures to limit police use of rubber bullets against protesters and provide a way to authenticate troubled officers, although some certification processes do not take effect until January 2023.
Other new laws prohibit a type of restraint that has caused deaths and specify that officers have a duty to intervene to prevent or report excessive force. Another expands the list of police misconduct records that must be made public.
Raises the minimum age to become a state police officer from 18 to 21 and requires the state attorney general to investigate all fatal shootings by police of unarmed civilians, including those where there is reasonable dispute whether that civilian was armed.
easing of criminal penalties
Building on a decade of efforts to reduce mass incarceration, California is taking additional steps to reduce criminal penalties.
Among them, it is eliminating the mandatory minimum prison or prison sentence for nonviolent drug offenses, thus giving judges more discretion to impose probation or other alternative sentences.
It is expanding on a 2019 law that limited the use of the felony rule, which previously allowed accomplices in a felony to be convicted of manslaughter if someone died, but now to those only. Limited those who intend to kill or directly participate.
And it is making the assumption that those arrested for violating their probation will be set free on their own identities, unless a judge considers them a public safety or flight risk.
It is also limiting prison terms for those associated with street gangs, considering easing circumstances in enforcing an increase in punishment, and retrospectively granting other enhancements to repeat offenders and certain prior drug offenses. explicitly removing.