The State of Regulations: 2019 New California Laws

Margaret A.M. Heine

is the principal counsel at Heine Law Group in Fullerton, California. She is licensed in California and Washington and has authority to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of International Trade.

Her practice includes estate planning, wills, trusts, and probate as well as business, real estate, and civil litigation. Email: or visit company website

The State of Regulations: 2019 New California Laws

California enacts some very interesting legislation all in the interest in controlling what we can and cannot do.  As a social experiment, it will be interesting to witness which 2019 laws stay, get repealed, or modified.  The new laws affect how much we earn, how we eat and drink, what we can do with our free time, and how to make even past criminal convictions legal.

How do you like to drink your soda, ice tea, iced coffee?  If it is with a straw, be prepared.  Under the guise of cutting down on unhealthy drink choices, straws will no longer be automatically given to customers at restaurants—you have to ask for them (SB 1884).  If you live in San Francisco, no plastic straws period.  One of the rationales for both of these laws is to attempt to cut down on plastic waste in California (think grocery bag purchase). Yes, you can still get a straw at a drive through or a fast food restaurant as they are exempt for now. To top it off, the business can be fined $25/day and up to $300/year if they do not comply with the law.

Senate Bill 1192 goes further, and makes milk, non-dairy substitutes and water the only options on kids menus.  Now they are not so foolish as to believe that kids will not want soda, so, again, the soda alternative has to be requested.

Vegan?  Vegetarian? Good news on the horizon if you are incarcerated or hospitalized.  AB 1138 mandates that those institutions must now offer vegetarian meals to patients and inmates.

Want to sell tamales at Christmas?  Easter bread at Easter?  Under AB626, anyone with a home kitchen can sell food they prepare there—however, the kitchen must undergo a food safety inspection, and it must be sold directly to the consumer and not part of a delivery service.

You will make more money in 2019 if you are a minimum wage earner. The state minimum wage goes to $11 for companies with under 25 employees and $12 for those with more than 25 employees, provided you do not live in an area which has enacted a higher minimum wage for workers there.

Good changes for working women in 2019.  Under AB1976, employers must provide a private area for young mothers to pump breast milk, and SB826 mandates that publicly traded companies must have at least one woman on their board of directors this year and at least three by 2021.

More gun restrictions for gun owners and hunters in the State.  In July, new regulations regarding the sale of ammunition go into effect.  Prop 63 mandates that if you purchase ammunition you must be registered with the CA DOJ as a firearm owner.  That is bad news for us wives that purchase ammunition for our husbands as gifts!  Alternatively, become a gun owner! If your credentials match what is on file with the CA DOJ, you may purchase ammunition.

SB1100 mandates that a person must be 21 or over to purchase a rifle or shotgun.  AB 3129 bans gun ownership if you are ever convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence. AB 1968 bans gun ownership if you have been treated in a hospital for a mental disorder. AB2103 imposes new gun safety training and proof of ability to use a firearm in issuing concealed weapons permits.

Good news if you have any past convictions for marijuana use or possession. Under AB1793, these convictions must be identified and the person helped in clearing these convictions from their criminal records.  In essence, any previous law breaking with regard to marijuana is given pardon and erased from the person’s criminal record.  Not sure how this will impact or if it will impact convictions regarding paraphernalia as that generally doesn’t specify what specifically was found or seized, but it could potentially be used to reverse those convictions as well.

It will now be prohibited to advertise marijuana to minors or use minors in any marijuana advertising, and is specifically blocking on-line advertising to minors under AB 3067.

A pet lover?  Under AB 485, pet stores can now only sell pets that were obtained from a rescue or a shelter.  AB 2274 makes pets a real asset during a divorce with the judge being able to use the “best interest” of the pet as a guide for who should be given the care and custody of the family pet.

Parents, watch your children!  Under AB 3077, if your child is riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates without a helmet, they will be issued a ticket.  They will have 120 days to purchase and prove they have a helmet, and will have to take a safety course to clear the ticket.  This can be expensive for parents, so, make sure your children are safety first.

Under SB179, California may now issue Gender Neutral driver’s licenses. It appears that you must appear in person at the DMV to change your present license, but now you have options.

A win for DREAMERS, any deported student who is a senior in a high school in California will be issued a high school diploma retroactively under AB3922.    Also, schools cannot withhold diplomas for failure to pay bus fares, overdue library books or uniforms under AB 1974.

There are many more new regulations in 2019.  These are the ones which will most likely impact almost every family.  Have a wonderful 2019.

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