2021 Legislative Session: New Laws of Interest

The 2021 Legislative Session has officially concluded, and the Governor has taken final action on all bills sent to his desk.

As your Representative, I want to be sure to keep you updated on some of the new laws that will be taking effect soon, especially since they may have a direct impact on you and our communities.  

General Overview:

Total Bills Introduced - 2,421

  • Assembly - 1,593
  • Senate – 828

 
Total Number of Bills Sent to Governor – 836

  • Governor signed 770 new laws (92% of them)
  • Assembly:
    • Signed by the Governor – 478
    • Vetoed by the Governor – 45
    • 75% signed authored by Democrats
    • 11.5% signed authored by Republicans
    • 13.5% signed were committee bills
       
  • Senate:
    • Signed by the Governor – 292
    • Vetoed by the Governor – 21
    • 76% signed authored by Democrats
    • 8.5% signed authored by Republicans
    • 15.5% signed were committee bills

 
New Laws Of Interest:

Department of Motor Vehcles (DMV):

  • AB 398: Prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from charging more than its actual costs to provide access to driver’s license and vehicle registration records.  It prevents the state from overcharging for access to DMV records in order to generate revenue.
     

Employment Development Department (EDD):  

  • AB 12 (Seyarto): Prohibits state departments and agencies like EDD from sending outgoing mail to an individual containing their complete social security number.
     
  • AB 110: Requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) facilities to provide EDD with the names and social security numbers of current inmates and requires EDD to cross-check claimant information with the information provided by CDCR before making a payment of unemployment compensation benefits.


 Education:

  • AB 101: Requires every high school student to complete a one-semester course in ethnic studies in order to graduate.
     
  • AB 309: Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop model referral protocols for addressing pupil mental health concerns and provides greater guidance to all school personnel on how to best serve students who may need assistance with mental health issues.
     

Elections:

  • AB 37: Requires counties to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters for all future elections.
     

Health:

  • AB 1184: Prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the “sensitive services” of anyone on their policy, including minor children.
     

Housing:

  • SB 9 and SB 10: Both of these bills make changes to single-family property zoning laws.  SB 9 allows homeowners to build two houses or a duplex on a single-family lot, and SB 10 allows local governments to rezone single-family parcels to allow up to ten homes per parcel in urban and transit hub areas.
     

Law Enforcement:

  • AB 48: Limits the use of rubber bullets and chemical agents by law enforcement at a protest/demonstration.
     
  • AB 89: Raises the minimum age for police officers from 18 to 21.
     
  • SB 2: Gives the State’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training the power to decertify/terminate an officer for misconduct. It also establishes an advisory board made up of mostly civilians to investigate and make recommendations to the commission.
     

Public Safety:

  • AB 3: Allows a court to impose the same driver’s license suspension for persons convicted of performing dangerous vehicle stunts (i.e. a “speed exhibition”) as currently applies for persons convicted of street racing.
     
  • AB 43: Allows local authorities/cities to maintain or reduce speed limits below the prevailing speed of traffic to encourage safer driving and increase pedestrian safety.
     
  • AB 333: Removes certain sentencing enhancements for acts committed in connection with a gang crime including looting, felony vandalism, and identity theft.


Recreation:

  • AB 817: Authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow 12-consecutive-month/365-day fishing licenses to be issued rather than just those that expire on Dec. 31, regardless of when they were issued.
     
  • AB 974: Requires horseback riders on the road who are under 18 years of age to wear a helmet, and requires all riders to use lights or reflective gear at night.
     
  • AB 1346: Requires the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations in an effort to prohibit the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers as of January 1, 2024.
     

Small Business/Business:

  • SB 94: Provides two years of COVID-19 license renewal fee relief for restaurants and bars licensed through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and for barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology..
     
  • AB 1084: Requires large retail department stores that sell childcare items and toys to provide a gender neutral section or area where those products are displayed or be subject to fines.
     
  • SB 87: This bill would establish the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to assist qualified small businesses affected by COVID-19 through administration of grants.
     
  • SB 389: Permits licensed restaurants to continue to sell alcoholic beverages as part of their "to-go" service.
     

Taxes:

  • SB 339: Creates a pilot program to test the collection of a tax on each mile driven (road usage charge) with voluntary program participants.
     
  • SB 395: Imposes an additional 12.5% excise tax on the purchase of electronic cigarettes beginning on July 1, 2022.

 
Veterans:

  • AB 107: Requires all Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) boards to provide 12-month temporary licenses to military spouses who provide documentation that they are duly licensed in another state and who pass a background check. Enhances the ability for military spouses to quickly resume their chosen professions when relocating to California.
     

Wildfires:

  • AB 9: Establishes the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program to implement strategies and projects to create fire adapted communities by improving watershed health, forest health, community wildfire preparedness, and fire resilience.

 
If you would like to check on the status of any other legislation, please click HERE.

I hope you found this informative and helpful. As always, it is my privilege to be your Representative in the California State Assembly.