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Governor’s Office highlights new laws taking effect in 2024

Official Seal of the State of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As we ring in a new year, multiple bills signed into law last year are set to take effect and the Governor's Office highlighted key legislative changes coming up this year for Californians.

“California is more than just a state of dreamers, we’re a state of doers," said Governor Newsom. "Thanks to the Legislature's strong partnership in 2023, the state is leading by example to create opportunity, and advance and protect the rights of all Californians.”


The Governor's Office explains that in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this year, the state strengthened protections of reproductive freedoms with the following two new laws.

AB 352, authored by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, requires businesses that maintain or store medical information to protect details related to abortion services, gender-affirming care, pregnancy loss, and other sensitive healthcare services from giving that information to "an individual, agency, or department from another state or, to the extent permitted by federal law, to a federal law enforcement agency".

The bill would further exempt healthcare record keepers from liability for damages or from civil or enforcement actions relating to cooperating with or providing the above medical information to another state or federal law enforcement agency regarding an investigation or inquiry.

SB 345 protects healthcare providers from enforcement actions in California from other state's laws that criminalize or limit reproductive and gender-affirming services and declares those laws a violation of California public policy.

Additionally, SB 345 authorizes a person to pursue civil action against a person who engages in "abusive litigation ... that infringes on or interferes with a legally protected health care activity".

Assemblymember Haney's AB 663 lowers the requirements for licensed pharmacies to operate mobile pharmacies across the state as part of California's 'Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis'.


While multiple new labor regulations are set to take effect starting Jan. 1, 2024, one crucial change comes from State Senator Gonzalez's SB 616, which expands the number of sick days available to workers in California from three to five.

State Senator Gonzalez and Governor Newsom are pictured below.


State Senator Skinner's SBX1-2 creates new authority for the California Energy Commission to monitor and penalize petroleum refineries to combat price gouging and market manipulation through a new division within the State's Energy Commission.


AB 545 expands the required accommodations at polling places statewide for those with a disability by allowing them to fill out a regular ballot outside of a polling location, known as 'curbside voting', and removes the requirement that they declare themselves unable to mark their ballot under oath to receive assistance.


SB 423 expands existing state-based laws requiring local governments to meet certain affordable housing thresholds in their jurisdictions to streamline housing projects.

This new law, authored by State Senator Wiener, is intended to increase the rate of new available housing in municipalities falling behind the state requirements to create additional affordable housing.

State Senator Wiener also authored SB 4, known as the "Yes in God's Backyard" bill, which allows housing developments on property owned by religious or independent higher education institutions under a higher, or 'by right', authority that requires no local government intervention.

Crime and Courts

In September, Governor Newsom signed State Senator Grove's SB 14 into law which increases the penalties for the human trafficking of minors in California.

Among other changes, the new law designates the violation as a serious felony and enhances the punishment for the crime under California's Three Strikes Law.


Assemblymember McCarty's AB 1291 establishes the University of California Associate Degree for Transfer Pilot Program through the Donahoe Higher Education Act starting at UCLA.

The pilot program prioritizes admissions for students who earn an associate degree for transfer from selected community colleges and redirects applicants if they are denied, to at least one other UC or CSU campus for admission.

The project is intended to streamline the transfer process between California Community Colleges and the UC and CSU systems and will be required to report its results to the state legislature and appropriate state agencies in February of 2027.

Article Topic Follows: California
affordable housing
crime and convictions
energy production
labor laws
Office of Governor of the State of California
state law
voting laws

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Andrew Gillies

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