During his first year in office, Governor Gavin Newsom signed more than 1,000 state laws, hundreds of which will go into effect in 2020. New California laws cover topics including, but not exclusive to, the environment, workplace, housing, data privacy and guns. Take a look below to see how new changes might affect Malibu residents.
• No smoking in state parks and beaches: Smoking and vaping will be banned in most areas of state parks and beaches. Those found in violation of the law will have to pay a $25 fine. State Senator Steve Glazer told the LA Times many forest fires have been caused by discarded cigarettes, and this ban will aid with wildfire prevention as well. Smoking in public spaces has been banned in Malibu since 2009.
• Plastic microbead ban: Personal care products containing plastic microbeads will be banned from sale statewide due to microplastic pollution in bodies of water across California, including local beaches and the Los Angeles River.
• Restrictions regarding independent contractors: The controversial Assembly Bill 5—which changes the way employees will be classified—will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The law was written with “gig economy” workers—ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft, for example—in mind, but also puts restrictions on employers in other industries that use independent contractors. Many freelance journalists worry that the bill will make an already difficult field even more unsustainable, given the law’s 35-submission cap.
• In 2016, the City of Malibu established annual minimum wage increases for all workers—regardless of immigration status—in the city’s jurisdiction. In July 2020, the Malibu minimum wage will increase to $15 an hour for workplaces with more than 26 employees. For employers with 25 or fewer employees, the wage will increase to $14.25 an hour.
• Statewide rent control: Assembly Bill 1482 enacts rent control throughout the state without completely overriding individual city rent control laws. According to the bill text, property owners cannot, over any 12-month period, increase rents “more than 5 percent plus the percentage change in the cost of living, or 10 percent, whichever is lower,” of the lowest rate charged for that dwelling or unit during the previous 12 months. In November 2019, Malibu City Council passed an urgency ordinance to halt citywide evictions that were taking place in reaction to the bill’s upcoming enactment—that ordinance becomes void Jan. 1 when the new law replaces it.
• Limiting restrictions on building “granny flats:” With the goal of increasing housing density, the state has made it easier to build accessory dwelling units, also called “granny flats,” in 2020 by preventing cities from blocking their construction. In effect from 2020 to 2025, the new law will also prevent cities from creating new building standards that would increase construction costs.
• A new data privacy law allows Californians to ask tech companies questions about their personal data collection, storage and distribution. Specifically, consumers can ask companies like Facebook or Google what is stored and/or collected, why the information is stored/collected and with whom their data is shared. Californians will have the right to sue tech companies over breaches of their data and will also be able to request that companies stop the sharing or selling of their information.
• Expansion of gun restraining orders: Beginning in September 2020, employers, co-workers, teachers and school administrators could request courts to take away the guns of those they deem a danger to themselves or the public. Previously, gun seizures were limited to family members and law enforcement officials.
• Extension of gun restraining order durations: A second bill, also taking effect in September 2020, allows one-year gun restraining orders to be extended for up to five years. The bill also allows firearm owners to petition courts for the return of their weapons by submitting one written request per year.
• Expansion of scope for gun owner restrictions to include out-of-state bans: Those who are banned from purchasing, receiving, owning or possessing guns in other states will also be banned from doing so in California.