New California Bills

New California Bills

Rylee Cagle, Formatting Editor

In coordination with California’s progressive nature, former Governor Jerry Brown signed one thousand and eighteen (1,018) bills in 2018, many of which have begun to take effect in 2019. Here’s a look at some of the notable laws that will impact state culture and life surrounding Heritage High School in the New Year…

  1. Plastic Straws

“This bill would prohibit a full-service restaurant, as specified, from providing single-use plastic straws, as defined, to consumers unless requested by the consumer. The bill would specify that the first and 2nd violations of these provisions would result in a notice of violation and any subsequent violation would be an infraction punishable by a fine of $25 for each day the full-service restaurant is in violation, but not to exceed an annual total of $300”

  Essentially, this bill will prohibit restaurants from giving customers a plastic straw, unless they request one. This bill does not apply to fast food restaurants & was largely supported by environmentalists.

View the full bill here…

  1. Animal Sale

“This bill would prohibit, on and after January 1, 2019, a pet store operator from selling a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, as defined, that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter, as specified.”

  Working in coordination with the saying “adopt, don’t shop,” this bill prohibits the sale of animals in pet stores unless those animals were rescued. This bill works to combat puppy mills that profit off of animal cruelty as well as to lessen the amount of animals dying in shelters.

View the full bill here…

  1. Healthy Kids Drink

“This bill would require a restaurant, as defined, that sells a children’s meal that includes a beverage, to make the default beverage water, sparkling water, or flavored water, as specified, or unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative, as specified. The bill would not prohibit a restaurant’s ability to sell, or a customer’s ability to purchase, an alternative beverage if the purchaser requests one.”

  The default drink for kids in California is now water [flavored, sparkling, or regular] or milk. This bill will require restaurants not to serve sugary drinks, like soda, to children unless their parent requests one.

View the full bill here…

  1. Gender Identity on State Documents

“This bill would enact the Gender Recognition Act. For purposes of obtaining a new birth certificate under the provisions above, the bill would delete the requirement that an applicant have undergone any treatment, and instead would authorize a person to submit to the State Registrar an application to change gender on the birth certificate and an affidavit attesting, under penalty of perjury, that the request for a change of gender is to conform the person’s legal gender to the person’s gender identity and not for any fraudulent purpose.”

  This bill upholds the ideals of gender identity as it allows citizens to submit an application to change the gender on their birth certificate. Unlike previous laws, this bill does not require any person applying to have had treatment prior to the certificate change.

View the full bill here…

  1. Equal Board Representation

“This bill, no later than the close of the 2019 calendar year, would require a domestic general corporation or foreign corporation that is a publicly held corporation, as defined, whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation’s SEC 10-K form, are located in California to have a minimum of one female, as defined, on its board of directors, as specified.”

  This bill requires most corporations located in California to have a minimum of one female representative.

View the full bill here…

  1. Police Transparency

“This bill would, notwithstanding the above provisions, commencing July 1, 2019, allow a video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident, as defined, to be withheld for 45 calendar days if disclosure would substantially interfere with an active investigation, subject to extensions, as specified. The bill would allow the recording to be withheld if the public interest in withholding video or audio recording clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure because the release of the recording would, based on the facts and circumstances depicted in the recording, violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of a subject depicted in the recording, in which case the bill would allow the recording to be redacted to protect that interest.”

  This bill allows police video & audio recording to be withheld from the public for 45 days if it is in the benefit of the people. If withholding the recordd is not in public interest, they will be redacted & released.

View the full bill here…

  1. Ignition Interlock Device

“Effective January 1, 2019, and until January 1, 2026, the bill would make an individual whose license has been suspended for driving a motor vehicle when he or she has a certain blood-alcohol concentration and who is eligible for a restricted driver’s license eligible for a restricted driver’s license without serving any period of the suspension if the person meets all other eligibility requirements and the person installs an ignition interlock device. The bill would authorize that individual to install an ignition interlock device prior to the effective date of the suspension and would require the individual to receive credit towards the mandatory term to install an ignition interlock device, as specified.”

  After a DUI offense, this bill allows a person not to serve a suspension period, so long as they install an ignition interlock device. These devices ensure that the driver is sober before the car turns on.

View the full bill here…

  1. Minimum Prosecution Age

“This bill would repeal the authority of a district attorney to make a motion to transfer a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction in a case in which a minor is alleged to have committed a specified serious offense when he or she was 14 or 15 years of age, unless the individual was not apprehended prior to the end of juvenile court jurisdiction, thereby amending Proposition 57.”

  This bill changes the minimum prosecution age in California, unless the individual has committed a serious offense, like murder or rape.

View the full bill here…

  1. Concealed Weapon Permit Training

“This bill would require that the course of training be at least 8 but not be required to exceed 16 hours. The bill would require the course of training to include instruction on firearm handling and shooting technique and to also include a demonstration by the applicant of shooting proficiency and safe handling of each firearm the applicant will be licensed to carry and to include live-fire exercises conducted on a firing range.”

  This bill requires a minimum of 8 hours of firearm training and handling prior to receiving a firearm license to carry.

View the full bill here…

  1. Mental Health & Firearms

“This bill would prohibit a person who has been taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a designated facility because he or she is a danger to himself, herself, or others, as a result of a mental health disorder and who was previously taken into custody, assessed, and admitted one or more times within a period of one year preceding the most recent admittance from owning a firearm for the remainder of his or her life.”

  This bill will prohibit any person who has been a danger [to themselves or others] due to mental illness from owning a firearm. This bill will apply if the individual has been admitted one or more times within the two years prior to purchase.

View the full bill here…

  1. Rapid Fire Devices

“Existing law prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, or possession of any multiburst trigger activator. Existing law defines a multiburst trigger activator as either a device designed or redesigned to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm, which allows the firearm to discharge two or more shots in a burst by activating the device, or a manual or power-driven trigger activating device constructed and designed so that when attached to a semiautomatic firearm it increases the rate of fire of that firearm.

This bill would include within that definition of “multibursttrigger activator” certain types of devices, including bump stocks and burst triggers.”

  In addition to existing law, this bill specifies that “multibursttrigger activators”  & “bump stock” & “burst triggers” are also prohibited in terms of manufacturing, possessing, selling, transferring, etc.

View the full bill here…

  Californian outcry for change has inspired these laws to come into fruition and many of them will directly affect California life as we move forward. The plastic crisis, children’s health, animal cruelty, equality, gender identity, gun control; All were addressed with the passing of these 2019 bills.


  Aside from your new knowledge on local law, the take away is this: be loud for what you believe in. Outcry brought these laws to the public, and you can too.