New California Laws Taking Effect in 2022


Photo by Jennie Richards from Pexels

Anthony Orrico, Writer

As 2022 begins there are many new laws going into effect in the golden state. They affect everything from small businesses and large corporations to everyday citizens. Here is what you need to know about the laws taking effect in 2022. 

Food Waste

S.B 1383 or California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction law aims at reducing the amount of food waste that goes into landfills in the state. According to the National Resources Defense Council, the U.S throws away about 40% of all food produced. This is terrible for the obvious reason that 10.5 million U.S households were food insecure in 2020 according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. In addition to the harm food waste does to the food security of many Americans, the food that gets thrown away goes into landfills where it decomposes without air which creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas that has 80 times the warming power of CO2. S.B 1383 now mandates that private residents and businesses throw their food waste into their green trash can rather than their traditional trash can. This helps the food waste go into compost which can be reintroduced into the soil and prevent the food waste from ending up in the landfill where it can create large amounts of methane. The bill allows municipalities to provide organic waste disposal services to all residents in areas where they do have such a program already. 

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Speed Limits

Assembly Bill No. 43 allows for cities to have more discrepancy in lowering their speed limits on city streets. Cities can start passing new speed limits for specific areas but cannot enforce them until 2024.

School Start Times  

The start times for most middle and high school children will change starting July 1st, 2022, for the 2022-2023 school year. Under the new law, high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 am and middle schools will start no earlier than 8:00 am. Many studies suggest that children function better in school when they have an adequate amount of sleep, which varies by age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children 6-12 years old get 9-12 hours of sleep while 13-18-year-olds should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep. With many schools starting as early as 7:00 am, supporters of the new law say that it is far too early for teens and preteens to be arriving at school. 

Menstrual Products in School

Schools, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, will now be required to provide menstrual products in restrooms. Are these free of charge or the traditional quarter machines?. This law affects 6-12 grade schools along with community colleges and public universities. 

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage increases to 15 dollars an hour starting January 1st for businesses with 26 employees or more. Businesses with 26 or fewer employees will go up to 14 dollars an hour and will go up to 15 dollars in 2023. This is more than double the federal minimum wage which has sat at 7.25 since 2009. 

Mail-in Voting

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Due to the pandemic during the 2020 elections, Governor Newsom issued an executive order to automatically send a mail-in ballot to all registered voters. These laws have been made permanent by A.B 37. Registered voters can still vote in person if they want. 

Takeout Alcohol

A.B 1096 extends the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages through 2026. 

Removing the Word “Alien”

A.B 1096 removes the word alien from the state code when referring to undocumented immigrants. The word will be replaced by “noncitizen” or “immigrant”

Canine Blood Donations

Blood donations for dogs will now resemble something similar to the way humans donate blood thanks to A.B 1282 which now allows veterinarians to set up canine blood donation clinics. Previously most canine blood donations came from colony banks which raised dogs in cages specifically for the purpose of harvesting their blood. Animal rights activists have long opposed these practices and the new law hopes to faze these kinds of practices out of California.

“Stealthing” Laws

The term “stealthing” is used to describe a sexual partner who without consent removes a condom with the other party’s knowledge. A.B 453 now makes this act a form of sexual assault and battery. California is the first state to enact laws specifically criminalizing “Stealthing” 

Ban of Rubber Bullets and Tear Gas

A.B 48 bans use of rubber bullets and tear gas by law enforcement to disperse crowds. They also cannot be used as retaliation for disobeying a lawful order such as an imposed curfew or an order to disperse. This comes in the wake of the protests after the murder of George Floyd where protesters all over the country were met with violence by law enforcement implementing both tear gas and rubber bullets. It’s worth noting that tear gas is banned by international law under the Geneva Convention as a chemical weapon. 

 There are many other news laws going into effect in 2022. You can find them all by visiting