With 2020 finally here, the new calendar year brings new state laws that have either taken effect or will soon take effect.

Some of these laws are described as follows:


Several new laws pertaining to housing have gone into effect in the New Year.

One such law places a limit on rent increases by landlords.

Under Assembly Bill 1482, annual rent increases cannot exceed 5% plus inflation.

The bill also created a ban on landlords evicting tenants without reason, or for the purpose of raising rent.

Renters evicted from a foreclosed property will continue have three months to vacate the premises, after legislation made the requirement permanent. It also became a law that landlords cannot deny a potential renter whose rent would be partially paid for through a Section 8 voucher.

Gun control

Among the state’s new gun control laws is a law that allows employers, co-workers and teachers to request gun violence restraining orders.

Also becoming law is an extension to the amount of time – increasing from one to five years – before a person who had a gun violence restraining order can purchase a gun. It is currently illegal for a person with a gun violence restraining order to buy a gun.

Under Senate Bill (SB) 61, anyone younger than 21 is prohibited from purchasing a semi-automatic rifle, as of Jan. 1.

The bill also prohibits Californians, of any age, from purchasing more than one semi-automatic rifle in a 30-day period. That provision will go into effect on July 1.

Another state law prohibits those who are legally disallowed from purchasing firearms in other states from buying firearms in California.

Minimum Wage

Under 2016’s SB 3, minimum wage in California increased on Jan. 1.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees are required to raise their hourly wage from $11 to $12, while businesses with more than 25 employees must raise their hourly wage from $12 to $13.

The current state law requires annual wage increases that will continue through 2023, when minimum wage reaches $15 per hour.

‘Gig worker bill’

New law AB 5 requires independent or contractual workers to be considered employees, if the employer controls the work, the employee is directed in their job, or the work is part of the company’s core business.

However, prior to Jan. 1, when the law went into effect, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the law from being enforced on truck drivers.

Medicaid for low-income young adults

Through a new law, California became the first state to offer government-funded health care for undocumented immigrants. The law was enacted through Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of Senate Bill 104.

With this law, California offers Medicaid coverage for low-income adults, ages 19 to 25, regardless of their immigration status.

Newsom referred to his signing of the bill as “another incremental step” toward “universal health care.”

Data privacy

A new consumer-privacy law went into effect through AB 375.

The law requires companies to disclose data collected on California residents who request such information.

Companies must also delete information on state residents who ask for their data to be removed.

The new law provides the strongest data privacy rights in the nation.