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Politics & Policy

7 California laws that go into effect in 2023

San Francisco City Hall on Dec. 14, 2022 | Jana Asenbrennerova for The Standard

Remember 2022? What a trip, but hey, we made it. And it turns out Sacramento made some legislative changes to California, some of which may actually affect you soon.

We’ve broken down some of the most important new laws for you, from the end of the “pink tax,” in which companies charge more for products targeted at women, to new public holidays such as Lunar New Year and Juneteenth.

So Happy New Year, and welcome to 2023. Here’s what you can and can’t legally do in California, starting today.

New Can-Dos

Take Lunar New Year, Juneteenth and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day off: Well, that is if your job gives you state holidays. These three were added to the state’s calendar this year.

See pay scales on job postings: In an effort to improve pay equity, a new law requires employers with more than 15 people on staff to post a pay scale for job postings and collect pay data that’s broken down by sex, race and ethnicity.

Get free books for kids: This one doesn’t go into effect for several months, but by June, any kid under 5 years old will be able to get free books in both English and Spanish delivered to their home every single month. The best part? It’s sponsored by the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton.

Jaywalk, if you’re being safe: You can no longer be cited $250 for illegally crossing the street, so long as you’re crossing when there’s no threat of a collision. The idea is to cut down on police interactions for “crimes” that are sometimes used to search or arrest people, a strategy disproportionately used against people of color.

New Can’t-Dos

Buy new fur clothing: A first-in-the-nation law passed in 2019 is finally going into effect this year, outlawing the sale and manufacture of new fur clothing. Faux fur, taxidermy and leather are still allowed!

Get ripped off by woman-targeted marketing tactics: A new law stops companies from charging different prices for products that are mostly the same except for whom they’re marketed to. The idea is to eliminate the “pink tax,” is that pesky trend that ups the price for that stunning pink tool set you’ve been eyeing at the hardware store.

Get ratted out for an abortion: A number of states are rolling back reproductive freedoms, but California has redoubled its commitment to bodily autonomy. Anyone getting an abortion in California won’t have to worry about getting in trouble in their home state anymore, as it’s now illegal to provide that information across state lines. Nurses can now perform first-trimester abortions without a doctor’s supervision, too.