Why California Is a Legislative Changemaker

November 4, 2021
Why California Is a Legislative Changemaker

Why does California legislation matter?

The impact of new California legislation can be felt far beyond the state’s borders. As the largest state in the U.S., new California bills have the power to directly affect more than 39.5 million people, nearly 12% of the entire U.S. population. This means the Golden State often serves as a litmus test for new laws.

Though California will be losing a seat in Congress for the first time in history, it still holds 52 seats – 14 more than next-largest state Texas. Additionally, a bill passed in California can significantly impact global business, as the state boasts the world’s fifth-largest economy. Its impact is particularly significant in liberal policymaking, given the state’s notable Democrat leanings. In recent years, it’s paved the way for new laws related to data privacy, the legal marijuana industry, police reform, and more.

[Find the key state policy intelligence you need to stay on top of the latest developments and make a lasting impact.]

Notable new bills passed in California during the 2021-2022 regular session

During the first part of the 2021-2022 regular session, California lawmakers passed a number of new laws affecting everything from health care for the aging to police reform.

Learn about a few of the most notable bills that were recently passed by legislators and signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Already a Bloomberg Government subscriber? Track each bill below. To learn more about the benefits of our legislative tracking and workflow tools, take a demo.

A.B. 48: New limits to use of force in policing

In the wake of mass protests in California and across the country over the past 18 months, lawmakers approved bill A.B. 48 limiting cops’ use of chemical sprays and projectiles such as beanbags and rubber bullets “except in compliance with specified standards set by the bill, and would prohibit their use solely due to a violation of an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or noncompliance with a law enforcement directive.”

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A.B. 570: Adding dependent parents to health insurance plans

Among several changes to how health plans distribute benefits, the legislature passed A.B. 570, which requires health insurance plans to allow adults to add dependent parents for insurance coverage, regardless of immigration status.

[Subscribers only: Track A.B. 570]

S.B. 331: Extending ban on non-disclosure agreements

A bill that extends an existing ban on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to settle sexual harassment cases prohibits employers from using NDAs to silence employees who left companies in the wake of any harassment, including racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

A former Pinterest employee worked with lawmakers who authored the bill after she broke such an agreement to discuss discrimination she faced while employed at the social media giant. In another high-profile case, Activision Blizzard and Riot Games are dealing with accusations from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing that the video game makers have used secret agreements to prevent employees from discussing alleged harassment and bias.

[Subscribers only: Track S.B. 331]

A.B. 701: Protections for warehouse workers

This measure protects warehouse distribution workers from being penalized for not meeting production quotas due to meals or other breaks/rest periods. It states that “an employee shall not be required to meet a quota that prevents compliance with meal or rest periods, use of bathroom facilities, or occupational health and safety laws as specified,” and comes on the heels of reports of high injury rates at Amazon shipping and fulfillment centers.

[Subscribers only: Track A.B. 701]

Keep track of new legislation with Bloomberg Government

Our workflow tools alleviate the burden of staying up to date across a vast landscape and help you meet stakeholders’ and clients’ expectations. With one subscription, you get access to our complete legislative tracking solution and all BGOV tools and news updated daily.

  • Search more than 1 million bills across all 50 states and the District of Columbia
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  • Search within a bill and, when an update is made, view a redline pdf

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