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July 16, 2020
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17 new laws took effect on Jan. 1

January 11, 2019

Major new protections for workers and wildfire survivors, climate and clean air, and reforms to juvenile justice system.  

Senator Lara is the principal author of 17 new laws, the most of any senator. These are some of Senator Lara’s major pieces of legislation that go into effect Jan. 1.  

Consumer Protection  

Privacy Protection Act (Senate Bill 244)

Protects the personal information of individuals that is collected or obtained by certain state and local agencies for administration of public programs.  

Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act (Senate Bill 824)

Protects all homeowners in a declared disaster area from non-renewal or cancellation of insurance and requests insurance data on wildfire risk to inform future policy.

Consumer Trust Act (Senate Bill 1194)

Ensures that the guest and passenger records of California patrons of lodging establishments and private bus companies are not disclosed to third parties, other than a California peace officer, without a court-issued subpoena, warrant, or order.   

Substance Use Patient Protection Act (Senate Bill 1228)

Ends kickbacks for patient referrals known as patient brokering and requires consumer protections for people in recovery residences.     

Good Government

High Risk Audit Program (Senate Bill 1293) Protects the California High Risk Audit Program created by AB 187 (Lara, 2012), allowing the State Auditor to identify local governments at risk of waste, fraud and abuse and help guide corrective action.  

Environmental Protection  

Climate Insurance (Senate Bill 30)

Orders the Department of Insurance to create a working group to recommend market-based policies that protect our natural infrastructure and mitigate climate impacts.  

California Cooling Act (Senate Bill 1013) 

Preserves Obama Administration targets for removing dangerous super pollutants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from refrigerants after a federal court struck them down last year. A single supermarket releases HFCs equivalent to 300 cars each year.  

ZEV Equity (Senate Bill 957 and Senate Bill 1000)

SB 957 creates the first-ever high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane sticker program for used vehicles for those who earn 80 percent or less of the median income. Under the current HOV sticker program, only new ZEVs are eligible, limiting the capacity for the incentive to promote ZEVs in low income communities and among long-distance commuters.  

SB 1000 requires the state to assess whether vehicle-charging infrastructure, including fast-charging access, is deployed fairly by income level, population density and geographical area. It also requires publicly funded charging stations to be accessible to all electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids.  

Clean Trucks and Buses (Senate Bill 1403)

Strengthens investments in the landmark Clean Truck and Bus Program, which Senator Lara created with SB 1204 in 2014 to ensure that clean trucks, buses and off road vehicles remain a priority at this time when the market is rapidly developing.  

Economic Opportunity  

Education and Healthcare Licensing (Senate Bill 695) 

Removes barriers to licensure for teachers and healthcare practitioners by solidifying inclusive practices, thereby improving economic opportunities and self-sufficiency for more California residents.  

Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Senate Bill 946)

Removes criminal penalties for sidewalk vending and allows local governments to pass laws that let vendors join the formal economy.  

Dignity for Port Truck Drivers (Senate Bill 1402)

Fights for the rights of 25,000 port truck drivers by allowing retailers and shippers to be held jointly liable for using trucking companies that commit wage theft and other labor law violations.  

Equity and Justice  

Sens. Ricardo Lara and Holly Mitchell introduced a package of bills to keep young children out of the juvenile justice system and fix longstanding inequity for youth and adults. Governor Brown has signed 10 bills in the #EquityAndJustice package since 2017.   

Minimum Age Incarceration (Senate Bill 439)

Excludes children age 11 and younger from juvenile court jurisdiction and would promote the rights, health and well-being of the child by curbing premature exposure to incarceration.  

Support for the Exonerated (Senate Bill 1050)

Extends services and support for exonerated people released from prison after their wrongful convictions are overturned. Since 1989, there have been a total of 192 exonerations in California. SB 1050 guarantees access to Medi-Cal, CalFresh and work training programs to assist exonerees to transition back to society.  

Juvenile Sentencing Reform (Senate Bill 1391) 

Prohibits 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried as adults in criminal court and subsequently sent to adult prison. The bill reverses laws passed in the 1990s that allowed for sentencing the youngest teens to the adult criminal justice system.  

Five-Year Judicial Discretion (Senate Bill 1393)

Return to prior statutory authority for judicial discretion on five-year enhancements for serious felony convictions.