Happy New Year! New years tend to bring new laws in California, and below is a list of some important ones.
A significant loophole in the protection of your privacy is now closed. AB 352 ensures that companies that manage electronic health records must protect health records that are related to abortions, gender-affirming care, and some other sensitive issues. It works not just for residents, but for people traveling from other states to obtain care.
on a related note, SB 345 now protects providers and other people from other states’ legal actions that criminalize abortion and gender-related care.
SB 616 expands the number of sick days. Instead of 3 sick days a year, employees now have 5.
With a dearth of affordable housing across the country, California is taking steps to address the issue in our state with SB 423. The law requires that local governments that are failing to meet affordable housing goals can streamline building affordable housing. It is targeted at cities and areas that have historically failed to comply with building affordable housing for residents.
Additionally, SB 4 allows for religious institutions and private higher education institutions to build housing on land that they own without local government intervention. It’s known as the “Yes in God’s Backyard” bill.
Human trafficking of minors was reclassified last September and is now law. According to SB 14, trafficking of minors for a criminal sexual act is now classified as a serious felony.
Mental Health Crisis
The governor signed laws aimed at making mental health care more accessible for Californians. The Mental Health Services Act was altered through SB 326. The bill aims to improve the use of funding through the MHSA without putting the burden on the public. AB 531 would issue over $6 billion in bonds to create more mental health facilities and beds in currently existing ones. Both of these are to be put on the March ballot under Proposition 1. Voters will be able to determine the fate of the laws in three months.