Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted new bills signed into law in 2021 that went into effect Jan. 1, including historic measures to expand worker protections, tackle the state’s housing crisis, redress historical injustices, increase voter access and more.
“In partnership with the Legislature, we’ve advanced hundreds of new bills this year to make meaningful progress on an array of issues that matter deeply to Californians across the state,” said Governor Newsom. “I thank Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon for their leadership in advancing historic measures to improve the lives of Californians, including new tools to boost our housing supply, improve workplace conditions and build a stronger state. As we head into the New Year, I look forward to our continued work to expand opportunity for all Californians.”
Among the new laws are nation-leading protections for workers and important measures to increase the state’s supply of affordable housing, create a more inclusive state, expand voter access and protect consumers and the environment from harmful chemicals.
SB 62 by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) ends the garment industry’s practice of piece-rate compensation and expands fashion brands’ liability for unpaid wages.
SB 8 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) extends the provisions of the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 through 2030 to accelerate the approval process for housing projects and curtail local governments’ ability to downzone, among other provisions.
SB 9 by State Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) facilitates the process for homeowners to build a duplex or split their current residential lot.
SB 10 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) creates a voluntary process for local governments to implement streamlined zoning for new multi-unit housing near transit or in urban infill areas.
SB 2 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) creates a system within the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct.
SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) expands public access to police misconduct records related to unreasonable or excessive use of force, discriminatory or prejudiced behavior and other misconduct.
AB 701 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) establishes nation-leading transparency measures for companies to disclose warehouse production quota descriptions and prohibits the use of algorithms that disrupt basic worker rights.
AB 338 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) allows the placement of a monument in Capitol Park honoring Sacramento-area tribes, replacing the sculpture of missionary Junipero Serra.
AB 855 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) removes Columbus Day as a judicial holiday and replaces it with Native American Day in September.
AB 600 by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) ensures that crimes targeting people due to their immigration status are considered a hate crime.
AB 37 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) makes permanent the measure implemented last year to send a vote-by-mail ballot to every active registered voter.
SB 389 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) allows restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries that sell food to continue offering to-go alcoholic beverages with food orders, building on state regulatory relief announced in June.
AB 1084 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) requires retail department stores to provide a gender-neutral section for toys and child care items.
AB 652 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) bans the use of toxic PFASs in products for children, such as car seats and cribs, and AB 1200 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) prohibits their use in disposable food packaging.
In October, Governor Newsom acted on the final bills of 2021, which advanced his historic California Comeback Plan featuring the most robust small business relief package in the country, unprecedented direct financial and rent relief for Californians, the largest increase in homeless housing in state history, universal Pre-K and a historic $15 billion climate package to advance California’s nation-leading climate agenda.
Governor Newsom also signed historic measures this year, such as SB 65, the California Momnibus Act by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) which will go into effect in August 2022, helping tackle racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes by improving research and data collection. And AB 101 by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) which – upon appropriation of funds by the Legislature – requires high schools to provide ethnic studies starting in academic year 2025-26 and make completion of a one-semester course a high school graduation requirement beginning with students graduating in 2029-2030.