New laws cover food safety, hazardous waste and more
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 13 bills Tuesday, ranging from food safety to electric fences. Here is a summary of the new state laws:
AB 272: ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS
Assembly Bill 272, proposed by Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), gives minors their legal rights if they are victim of a sexual assault even if their guardian signs an arbitration clause in a school enrollment agreement.
The bill applies to public and private schools that serve any grades kindergarten through 12th.
AB 332: HAZARDOUS WASTE: TREATED WOOD WASTE: MANAGEMENT STANDARDS
Assembly Bill 332, authored by the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, reinstates alternative management standards for treated wood waste. The alternative management standards were set in 2008 but “sunset” on Dec. 31, 2020.
Without alternative management standards, treated wood waste is considered hazardous waste.
The California Building Industry Association, California Farm Bureau and the Treated Wood Council wrote to the Assembly in support of the bill.
The organizations wrote the provisions as of Jan. 1 made “the management and disposal of treated wood waste more difficult, expensive and environmentally unsustainable.”
AB 358: ELECTRIFIED SECURITY FENCES: PERMITTED USE
The assembly bill amends Section 835 of the Civil Code, which sets standards for electrified security fences.
The main change is a height adjustment. The previous law stated the fences may not exceed 10 feet tall and should be located behind a perimeter fence no less than six feet tall.
Now, the fences can be built behind a perimeter fence “no less than five feet tall” and can stand 10 feet high or two feet above the perimeter fence, whichever is higher.
AB 445: DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES: INFORMATION COLLECTION
Assembly Bill 445 amends the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, which links the State Department of Developmental Services with regional centers to assist people with developmental disabilities.
The law removes the requirement for parents of disabled minors to provide their social security number when seeking services for their child.
AB 541: TOBACCO ASSESSMENT
The Health and Safety Code now requires alcoholism and substance-use disorder recovery facilities to assess patients for tobacco use during intake.
The assessment should provide information and treatment plans as well as asking questions.
The California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals sponsored the bill.
AB 611: SAFE AT HOME PROGRAM: HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS
Assembly Bill 611 protects the addresses of Safe at Home program participants who live in membership associations.
The Safe at Home program provides an alternative address victims of domestic violence sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse and human trafficking as well as reproductive health care service providers, employees, volunteers and patients.
Homeowners’ associations often provide members with a list of names and addresses, and the new law requires associations to accept alternative addresses.
AB 689: COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM
The Comprehensive Statewide Domestic Violence Program in the Office of Emergency Services is now updated under Assembly Bill 689, authored by Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach).
The previous law required the Office of Emergency Services to provide financial and technical support to regional centers to implement 24-hour crisis hotlines.
The new law adds modern technology, also offered on a 24-hour basis, such as text messaging and computer chat.
AB 698: HAZARDOUS WASTE: SMALL QUANTITY GENERATOR
The bill updated language within the California Hazardous Waste Control Law to parallel United States Environmental Protection Agency advancements.
The term “conditionally exempt small quantity generator” is now replaced with “very small quantity generator.”
The Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials proposed AB 698.
AB 803: STARTER HOME REVITALIZATION ACT OF 2021
The Starter Home Revitalization Act of 2021 requires cities and counties to approve more dense development of single-family homes.
The law limits municipalities from imposing setback and unit size minimums if a number of conditions are met.
The California Association of Realtors wrote to the Assembly in support of AB 803 “because it encourages the construction of new affordable owner-occupied housing units statewide that will be available to our state’s working families who struggle to afford housing within the communities in which they work.”
AB 831: CALIFORNIA RETAIL FOOD CODE
The State Assembly’s Committee on Health proposed changes to the California Retail Food Code.
It redefined “limited food preparation” to include holding, portioning and distributing food cooked by a catering company. It expands the food service functions of charity operations to include, among other roles, distributing cold and frozen foods.
There are many other updates. The California Retail Food Safety Coalition sponsored the bill.
AB 1143: CIVIL PROCEDURE: RESTRAINING ORDERS
Assembly Bill 1143 allows harassment victims alternative methods to serve civil restraining orders if a court determines the victim has made a diligent effort to serve the order in-person.
The law was proposed by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park).
AB 1305: THE MEDICINAL AND ADULT-USE CANNABIS REGULATION AND SAFETY ACT: EXEMPTIONS
Assembly Bill 1305 exempts commercial entities from the Medicinal and Adult-Use
Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act if they provide proof of registration with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and state the location they will be using cannabinoids.
It also broadens the products exempted from cannabidiols to cannabinoids that meet certain requirements.
Proposed by Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), the bill is intended to help researchers as they navigate lengthy approval processes at the state and federal level for cannabis research.
AB 1480: EMPLOYERS: PROHIBITED DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION: ARREST OR DETENTION
Prior to Assembly Bill 1480, employers were not allowed to seek criminal records that didn’t result in a conviction unless the employee was a sworn-in member of a criminal-justice agency, such as a peace officer.
Now, criminal-justice agencies may now seek and use information about non-sworn employees’ arrest or detention records not resulting in a conviction, diversion program referral or participation and information that has been dismissed or ordered sealed by a judge.
The agencies may also disclose the information to a government agency employer.
Employees not involved in the criminal justice system do not have to disclose these records.
The full text of the bills can be searched at leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.