Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Tourism
AB 734 (McCarty) Prohibits youth sports organizations and youth tackle football leagues from allowing children younger than 12 years old to participate in youth tackle football, starting with prohibiting children under 6 in 2025, children under 10 in 2027, and children under 12 in 2029. Prohibits young children from participating in youth tackle football, terminating parental choice.
Business & Professions
AB 1570 (Low) Expands the scope of practice of optometrists who are certified to treat glaucoma, by allowing them to perform specified surgical procedures using lasers after completing a Board of Optometry approved training regimen. Sponsored by the CA Optometric Association and similar to AB 2236 (Low, 2022), which was vetoed by the Governor, the bill is opposed by the CA Medical Association and other physician organizations.
AB 1299 (Jackson) Prohibits, with few exceptions, school resource officers (SROs) from using handcuffs and pepper spray on school grounds, prohibits SROs from “correcting pupil behavior,” and requires a SRO to seek the permission of school principal before interacting with students. Restricts the ability of SROs to ensure the safety of students and staff at California schools.
AB 83 (Lee) Prohibits U.S. companies from making any political contribution or independent expenditure in connection with a candidate for election or a state or local ballot measure, if 1% of its stock is owned by a single foreign principal, or 5% is owned by any number of foreign investors. Prevents U.S.-based businesses from exercising their First Amendment free speech rights if a minuscule portion of their stock is owned by persons in other countries.
AB 1595 (Bryan) Repeals existing law, if ACA 4 is approved by the voters, that prohibits persons who are currently imprisoned for the conviction of a felony from registering to vote, and from voting. Allows incarcerated felons to retain the right to vote by mail in any election in which they would be eligible to vote based on their last voluntary residence. Allows convicted felons to vote while still imprisoned for their crimes, but only if ACA 4 is approved by the voters.
AB 554 (Gabriel) Allows a nonprofit corporation established for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or a humane officer thereof, to bring a civil action for specific or injunctive relief, including to enjoin possession, to enforce any law relating to or affecting animals that would be a basis for a complaint under existing animal welfare laws. Allows nonprofit corporations established for the prevention of cruelty to animals to file civil actions to seek an injunction to prevent ongoing abuse to animals, but opens the door to frivolous and harassing lawsuits against the agricultural industry.
Labor & Employment
AB 747 (McCarty) Expands penalties on employers who present unenforceable noncompete agreements (NCAs) to employees or prospective employees; extends the existing near-total NCA prohibition to contracts with independent contractors; and further restricts the use of allowed NCAs connected to the sale of a business to only permit NCAs in sales involving at least 10% of the business. Increases penalties on employers and further restricts NCAs in a way that jeopardizes certain business models.
AB 901 (Ting) Authorizes a city or county to establish an affordable housing financing authority with the ability to levy revenue bonds to support its operations but without a vote of the people and fails to preclude the use of eminent domain. Disallows taxpayers from approving the authority and doesn’t expressly prohibit private property takings that disproportionately harm low-income families of color.
AB 9 (Muratsuchi) Requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a regulatory process to evaluate potential updates to the Cap-and-Trade Program, and for regulatory changes shall take effect no later than January 1, 2025. Allows CARB to self-review its own program and create more regulations that will impact businesses.
AB 1290 (Rivas, L) Prohibits a person from manufacturing, selling, or distributing specified types of common plastics beginning January 1, 2026, excluding those used for certain medical, drug, and federally regulated products. Effectively bans the sale of many types of important polymers used for everyday household products.
AB 61 (Bryan) Eliminates the exceptions to the general rule that arrested suspects must be brought before a magistrate for arraignment within 48 hours, other than when this occurs on Sundays or judicial holidays, thus requiring holding arraignment court on Sundays and holidays. Eliminates the special provision stating that juvenile offenders may be held up to 72 hours prior to being seen by a judge and, instead, provides that a minor must be released within 48 hours after being taken into custody if that minor does not receive a judicial determination of probable cause. Requires arraignment or judicial determination of probable cause in juvenile court cases within 48 hours of arrest without exception.
AB 742 (Jackson) Prohibits peace officers from using unleashed police canines to arrest or apprehend a person unless the person is being pursued for a felony that threatened or resulted in the death of or serious bodily injury to another person and the person poses an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another. Prohibits their use in crowd control. Prohibits police canines from being used in any circumstance to bite unless there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person. Imputes liability to the handler for serious injuries inflicted by police canines, as provided. Severely limits the use of dogs in law enforcement.
AB 797 (Weber) Requires, beginning January 1, 2026, every city and county to create an “independent community-based commission on law enforcement officer practices.” Requires each commission to include an executive director, independent investigators, independent legal counsel (which cannot include the city attorney or county counsel), commissioners, and support staff. Requires the commissions to conduct independent investigations of complaint against a police officer or sheriff alleging physical injury to a person, issue and enforce compliance of subpoenas for evidence and testimony relating to these complaints.
AB 1047 (Maienschein) Requires the Department of Justice to develop and launch a secure internet-based platform to allow a person who resides in California to voluntarily add their own name to a registry that will advise a licensed behavioral health clinician of the person’s attempt to purchase a firearm during the 10-day waiting period. Provides that purpose of the registry is for the person to potentially intervene and prevent the registrant from purchasing a firearm during the waiting period.
Revenue & Taxation
AB 259 (Lee) Imposes an annual “wealth” tax of 1.5% on a taxpayer’s assets in excess of $1 billion (or $500 million for those who are married and filing separately) beginning on January 1, 2024. Widens the group of affected taxpayers in 2026 to those with $50 million in assets (or $25 million for married filing separate) and imposes a rate of 1%. Includes an additional .5% surtax on assets in excess of $1 billion (or $500 million for separate filers). Proposes new penalties for errors and allows for private attorney lawsuits against taxpayers (PAGA). Proposes a new tax on high net worth individuals requiring them to report assets including stocks, bonds, interests in partnerships, and artworks.
AB 241 (Reyes & Gonzalez) xtends the sunset by 11.5 years on vehicle registration taxes (known as the “AB 118/AB 8” taxes) that fund three clean vehicle incentive programs. Imposes a ~$185 million/year car tax increase to fund zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and ZEV charging/fueling infrastructure. This bill increases vehicle taxes by $2.1 billion over 11.5 years to fund the Clean Transportation Program (CTP) administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) administered by the Air Resources Board (ARB), and the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and ARB.
Utilities & Energy
AB 1550 (Bennett) Requires all hydrogen produced and used in California for the generation of electricity or fueling of vehicles to be renewable after 2044, with strict limits on inputs. Mandates that renewable hydrogen be sourced only from electrolysis using renewable energy and water. Mandates that all hydrogen produced and used in California in the future be “renewable” and strictly defines “renewable” to prohibit the use of biomethane from dairies and fossil fuels, while also limiting the use of agricultural and forest biomass.