New 2022 California laws on COVID-19, housing and policing

New 2022 California laws on COVID-19, housing and policing

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to slow the pace of governing California in 2021 as it did the year before, with the second fewest number of bills approved by the Legislature of any year since 1967, trailing only the record low number ratified in 2020.

In all, Gov. Gavin Newsom considered 836 bills covering a range of topics, a mix of proposals prompted by the current COVID crisis as well as items that have been hotly debated for years. Newsom vetoed only 66 of the bills that made it to his desk.

Among the 43 noteworthy new laws for 2022 included here are several that were approved years earlier but are only taking effect now. Most of those listed take effect on New Year’s Day. As in years past, the list mostly reflects the interests of the Democrats who hold a supermajority of seats in both the state Senate and Assembly.

Some San Diego-area lawmakers sponsored laws expanding housing options and climate action and furthering police and workplace reform.

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, introduced a bill that creates a system to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct. She also sponsored environmental legislation to create a task force and add funding to plan for sea level rise. And she authored a bill to enable homeowners to build a duplex on their property or to split their current residential lots.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, took on a variety of labor issues. She sponsored bills requiring companies to disclose and describe their warehouse production quotas and a bill that prohibits the use of algorithms that disrupt workers’ rights. One of her bills signed into law makes wage or tip theft a grand theft violation and another makes delivery app fees more transparent, so tips meant for drivers go to drivers and tips for restaurants go to the restaurant, rather than to the app company.

Some of the most notable new state laws make significant changes in criminal justice, law enforcement oversight and health care.

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