2019 Law Changes and Challenges for California

2019 will be a year of change for California.  Several new laws (1,016 to be exact) were signed into law in 2018 by Governor Jerry Brown.

In previous blogs, we have discussed at length one of the nation’s biggest attempts to overhaul the bail system.  California’s SB 10 is set to go into effect October 2019.  The bill would effectively eliminate the state’s cash bail system in favor of a risk assessment tool to determine whether someone should be released pretrial.  Fears over unfettered discretion to detain someone without the eligibility of release and the unfairness associated with risk assessment tools caused a major backlash.  Currently, the bill awaits verification of signatures for a veto referendum which would stop the bill from going into effect in 2019.  If successful, the referendum would take SB10 to the voters on the 2020 ballot.

Bail reform was not the only hot topic to cross the governor’s desk. Assembly Bill 1884 prohibits a full-service restaurant from providing single-use plastic straws unless requested by the consumer.  The bill comes after the state’s successful ban on single-use plastic bags.

2019 will see an increase in minimum wage. Senate bill 3, passed in 2016, approved a gradual increase in the hourly minimum required to be paid to employees.  Employees at companies with over 26 people employed are entitled to a minimum of $12 per hour beginning January 1, 2019.  Those working at establishments with 25 or fewer people will receive at least $11 per hour in the new year.  The amount increases by a dollar each year until capping at $15 per hour.

Other changes include healthier default drink options for children’s meals, expanded rights for food trucks and street vendors, a requirement for more female directors serving on board of directors and many others that could affect your daily life.

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