The year 2023 is approaching. Here are the new California laws you should know

The end of the year marks the beginning of many new laws in California.

Hundreds of new laws have been passed by the state assembly and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2022, and many of them went into effect on New Year’s Day in the nation’s most populous state. They include issues of reproductive rights, labor protection, wages, climate, environment, housing, health and more.

The governor signed nearly 1,000 new bills in October alone, but we’ve rounded up some notable ones below. Much adds to or revises existing state law.

Here’s what to know about some of the new California laws in 2023.

Catalytic converter theft

Anyone who has started operating a vehicle only to hear the alarming bang that accompanies a stolen catalytic converter knows the aggravation that accompanies crime. Two invoices, AB 1740 and SB 1087, were intended to eliminate catalytic converter theft. AB 1740 requires recyclers to include additional information in the written record after receiving the catalytic converter, including the year, make, and model of the vehicle from which the device was removed. A copy of the title of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed must also be provided. SB 1087 prohibits persons from purchasing a used catalytic converter from anyone except certain authorized resellers. Includes basic recycling.

Catalytic converters are ripped off by thieves to sell the piece made of expensive metal.

There are some new laws in California in 2023, including minimum wage and hiking. Details with Ian Cole.

climate and environment

Dozens of climate bills have been signed into law by the governor in 2022. Some are part of a long-term plan that charts a course for a future less reliant on fossil fuels. AB 1279 sets a goal of California becoming carbon neutral by 2045. SB 1020 requires that the state’s electrical grid be powered by renewable energy by the same year.

COVID-19 in the workplace

This law requires employers to provide employees with workplace COVID exposure notices through 2024.

Misinformation about the COVID-19 virus

AB 2098 makes it easier for a state medical board to sanction doctors who spread misinformation about COVID.

Crackdown on online sales of stolen goods

Two invoices – SB 301 and AB 1700 – are designed to eliminate the online sale of stolen goods by strengthening the requirements of online marketplaces. Online marketplaces will need to collect more information from sellers who move large quantities of products. The California Attorney General should create a website for reporting stolen items.

Dolly Library

From June 2023, this law will provide more children up to the age of five with access to free books. The act paves the way for the expansion of Dolly Parton’s fantasy library.

Abolition of the “pink tax”

This bill was introduced in an attempt to ensure that people would not be charged a different price based on the gender – for which they are being marketed – for any two goods that are substantially the same, such as razors. It empowers the state attorney general to request an injunction and authorizes courts to improve civil penalties.

Protection of food sellers

SB 972 reviews the licensing process for street food vendors in California. Introduced by Senator Lina Gonzalez, the bill is designed to combat unauthorized selling.

“Food hawkers are woven into the culturally and culinaryly diverse tapestry of California,” Gonzalez said. However, these workers lack access to the permits they need to be able to work and support their families. This is due to policies in the California Retail Food Code that make it difficult for them to enter local permit systems.

“SB 972 will remove these barriers while upholding public health and safety standards to protect consumers.”

In mid-December, members of the Los Angeles City Council requested a report on the possibility of creating a temporary curbside sale permit for street vendors waiting to apply for their permit due to SB 972.

The City of Long Beach is helping educate street vendors about a new California law that requires them to obtain a health permit. Darsha Phillips reports for NBC4 News on December 12, 2022.

Gender-affirming health care

SB 107 was introduced as part of an effort to make California a health care haven for transgender people. The law protects transgender individuals, including youth, from legal action from other countries with prohibitions and restrictions.


Dozens of bills have been signed to fight the state’s homeless crisis and develop affordable housing. AB 2011 and SB 6 provides ways to increase productivity and affordability by converting unused retail properties into homes.

Jaywalking has been criminalized, in most cases

Cross with caution, but perhaps without quotation. AB 2147 specifies when pedestrian offenses can be enforced. Newsom’s government opposed the bill in 2021, but later relented and agreed with the arguments put forward by its author. The law provides for an exception if “a prudent person reasonably realizes that there is an immediate danger of collision with a moving vehicle”.

Paid family leave

SB 951 reviews the formulas used to determine the share of paid family leave provided to low-income California citizens. The law increases vacation benefits for low- and moderate-income employees to cover more of their usual income when they take time off to care for family and loved ones.

Payment transparency

Similar to New York law that requires employers to specify salary ranges in job advertisements, SB 1162 requires companies with 15 or more employees to post a salary range in job advertisements. Employers must also provide existing employees with a salary range if asked.

Protect creative expression

This law restricts creative expressions — such as sounds, words, movements, and symbols in songs and music videos — from being used against artists in court without judicial review. Current law allows creative expression to be accepted as evidence in criminal proceedings “without a sufficiently robust investigation” into whether the evidence introduces procedural bias or bias, as the law says.

“In particular, a large body of research shows a high risk of unfair bias when including rap lyrics in evidence,” says AB 2799.

Reproductive rights and abortion

Bills that were part of a package covering abortion care and birth control go into effect next year. This package includes protection from criminal and civil liability in cases of miscarriage, stillbirth, miscarriage or perinatal death from causes that occurred in the womb. Another bill in the package would prevent a health care provider from publishing medical information about an individual seeking abortion care in response to a subpoena or out-of-state request. The package includes a bill that would prohibit California law enforcement and businesses from cooperating with out-of-state entities about legal abortion in California. A measure to expand access to contraceptives was also part of the broader package.

Social media and hate speech

Social media companies must publicly post policies on hate speech, misinformation, harassment, and extremism under this law. AB 587 also requires companies to file reports with the state attorney general’s office regarding violations and enforcement.

Seal some criminal records

Criminal records of certain criminals will be sealed, if they meet certain criteria. Ex-offenders must complete their sentence and maintain a clean record for a minimum of four years. Excludes sex offenders and persons convicted of more serious or violent crimes. Law enforcement agencies and schools will be allowed access to the sealed records, which are protected from employers and landlords.

state holidays

California now has three new optional public holidays on the books including Juneteenth (AB 1655), Lunar New Year (AB 2596) and Genocide Memorial Day (AB 1801).

Suicide hotlines

SB 988 requires, no later than July 1, 2024, that a state Office of Emergency Services verify interoperability—the ability of computer systems to exchange and use information—between and through the 911 and 988 calling systems.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “Home” to 741741, at any time.

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