New California Laws of 2022 on COVID-19, Housing, and Policing


The COVID-19 pandemic continued to slow the pace of government in California in 2021 as it did the year before, with the second fewest number of laws approved by legislature since 1967 and only after the record low number ratified in 2020.

In total, Governor Gavin Newsom considered 836 bills on a range of topics, a mix of proposals sparked by the current COVID crisis, as well as topics that have been hotly debated for years. Newsom only vetoed 66 bills.

Among the 43 notable new laws for 2022 included here are several that were passed years ago but are only now coming into effect. Most of the ones listed apply on New Years Day. As in previous years, the list largely reflects the interests of the Democrats, who hold an overwhelming majority in both the Senate and the state parliament.

Some San Diego area lawmakers endorsed laws that expand housing, protect the climate, and drive police and workplace reform.

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, presented a bill that creates a system to investigate and withdraw or suspend certification of peace officers in the event of serious misconduct. She also promoted environmental legislation to create a task force and fund planning for sea level rise. And she drafted a bill that would allow homeowners to build a semi-detached house on their property or to divide up their current residential lots.

Rep. Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, addressed a variety of labor issues. It sponsored bills requiring companies to disclose and describe their warehouse production quotas, as well as a bill banning the use of algorithms that violate workers’ rights. One of their legally signed bills makes wage or tip theft a major theft offense and another makes fees for the delivery app more transparent, so tips for drivers go to drivers and tips for restaurants go to the restaurant, not the app company.

Some of the most notable new state laws are making major changes to the criminal justice system, law enforcement oversight, and health care.


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