Last week, the IE Voice/Black Voice News published a long list of laws that took effect January 1, 2019, yet due to the hundreds of laws that became effective in the new year, the list was not all inclusive—here are a few more that may be of interest to you and your family.
AB 216: Mail-in Ballots
Election departments must now include a return envelope with prepaid postage for vote-by-mail ballots.
AB 626: Food Businesses at Home
Allows people to sell food they make in their home kitchens to the public. They can also prepare dinners in their homes for paying guests. The home kitchens must undergo food safety inspections. The food must be sold directly to consumers and cannot be part of a delivery service.
AB 1755: Bicycle Crashes
Bicyclists could face felony hit-and-run charges if they leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or died.
AB 1884: Plastic Straws
Dine-in restaurants are prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws unless they are requested by a customer. Businesses that don’t comply will be fined $25 a day and up to $300 a year.
AB 1974: High School Diplomas
Public schools can’t withhold high school diplomas for students with past-due bus fares, overdue library books or unpaid uniforms.
AB 2274: Pets in a Divorce
Judges will be able to decide who gets custody of a family pet during a divorce. The judge will consider factors like who takes care of or feeds the pet.
AB 2886: Shared-Ride Drivers
Ride-hailing apps (like Uber and Lyft) will be required to provide passengers with the driver’s name, picture, image of the vehicle and license plate number.
AB 3922: Deported High School Students
Retroactively grants high school diplomas to seniors who have been deported.
SB 946: Street Food Vendors
Cities and counties can no longer ban sidewalk vendors but they can set up a licensing system to regulate them. Vendors who violate local laws can only be punished with a fine or citation.
SB 1014: Ride-sharing Vehicles
Companies like Uber and Lyft will have to meet higher emission standards by increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles on their platforms and do more to encourage passengers to pool their rides.
SB 568: The Presidential Primary
California’s 2020 primary is moved to the first Tuesday in March to give the state more influence in the presidential primaries.
SB 1138: Vegetarian Meals
There will be more meal options for people in hospitals. Healthcare facilities will now have to offer plant-based meals to patients. Prisons will also be included in the new meal requirement.
SB 1164: Craft Beer Distilleries
Small-batch craft distilleries can sell whiskey, vodka and other spirits directly to customers. This will allow them to operate more like wineries. Previously, consumers were required to take a tour and/or sign up for a tasting before they could purchase any alcohol.
SB 1192: Children’s Meals
Restaurants that sale children’s meals can no longer offer sugary drinks like juice and soda, as the primary drink choice. The default option will be milk, water or flavored water with no added sweeteners, however children can still order sugary drinks if desired.