Here’s What You Need To Know About Ten New California Laws That Went Into Effect July 1

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jul 01, 2024

Starting Monday, California residents will be under the authority of many new laws that range from imposing a ban on hidden fees to a new tax on guns.

Many of these new laws signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom will likely have a significant effect on the lives of residents.

Gun Tax

In the state of California starting July 1, all firearms and ammunition for those firearms will now have a 11% sales tax imposed on them.

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A judge’s wooden gavel and a gun on top of an American flag.

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This tax comes from Assembly Bill 28 and is estimated to generate up to $150 million in tax revenue annually which is intended to help fund school safety and violence prevention programs.

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Ban on Hidden Fees

Senate Bill 478 passed last year aims to eliminate so-called “junk” fees that are added on to purchases in California.

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A twenty-four-year-old woman counting dollar bills.

Unsplash user Alexander Grey

Supporters of the law hope that it will be effective in eliminating the practice of “price dipping” where businesses advertise one price but customers end up paying much more by the time the final purchase is made.

Exception For Restaurants

While SB 478 was set to apply to restaurants, on Saturday Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1524 which would carve out some exceptions to the “junk fee” restrictions.

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A vibrant sushi platter featuring various sushi rolls topped with colorful sauces and garnishes, presented on a black rectangular plate in a restaurant setting

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Restaurants are allowed to add on fees to purchases as long as these fees are “clearly and conspicuously” displayed on menus.

Getting Pulled Over

Assembly Bill 256 goes into effect in California starting July 1 and lasts until January 1, 2030, and will affect vehicle registration police stops.

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A close-up of red, white, and blue lights on a cop car seen at night.

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Under this new law, police officers will no longer be able to pull over a driver solely for expired license plate stickers unless two full months have passed.

School Suspensions

Senate Bill 274 goes into effect on July 1 which will make it harder for school administrators to suspend students for lesser behavioral issues.

An empty classroom with desks and chairs and a green blackboard.

Source: Victor Steep/Pixabay

“Since my start in the state Senate in 2016, I’ve worked to end willful defiance suspensions in our public schools. The reason is simple: Suspending students, no matter the age, doesn’t improve student behavior, and it greatly increases the likelihood that the student will fail or drop out,” said Senator Nancy Skinner.

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Workplace Violence Training

California workplaces are now required by law to create and implement workplace violence prevention plans and keep track of a new range of workplace incidents.

A group of office workers collaborating around a desk with laptops and documents, in a modern office environment

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Incidents that need to be tracked range from threats, verbal abuse, physical confrontations, and fights all the way up to homicides.

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Right to Repair Act

Senate Bill 244, also known as the Right to Repair Act, goes into effect at the beginning of July and will require electronic manufacturers to make it easier for their customers to get their appliances repaired.

A woman using a smartphone in one hand while working on a laptop, with a car key fob visible on the table

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Manufacturers will have increased requirements to provide parts, tools, and information on repairs regardless of an expressed warranty. The law’s implementation is broad and will apply to many common appliances like computers, cellphones, kitchen and home appliances, and more.

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Reduction to Security Deposits

Starting July 1, landlords will not be able to charge renters as much for security deposits for their residences.

An apartment building and its windows seen in the daytime.

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Previously, security deposits were capped at three times a month’s rent, but under the new law AB 12, security deposits will be capped at just one month’s rent.

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Drug Testing Kit Requirements

California establishments like bars, nightclubs, and those who serve alcoholic beverages under a specific license known as “on-sale general public premises” will now be required to have drug-testing kits for sale to customers.

A man's hand holding a clear glass of amber beer, with a brewery setting in the background showing stainless steel equipment and soft focus

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This law attempts to help prevent cases of “spiked” drinks and requires businesses to post a sign that says “Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details.”

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Menstrual Products in Schools

Starting July 1, public schools must expand the number of students whom they provide free menstrual products in the restroom for.

Close-up view of the front of a yellow school bus displaying the words "SCHOOL BUS" and red lights

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Previously schools only had to provide them for students between grades 6 to 12. The new law, AB 367, now expands this requirement to include grades 3 to 5. These products must also be present in women’s restrooms, all-gender restrooms, and at least one men’s restroom.

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Housing Approval

Senate Bill 684 goes into effect on July 1 and attempts to speed up the development of new houses by streamlining the approval of subdivision maps.

A miniature model of a house painted red and white next to a set of keys on a wooden surface

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This should make it easier for builders to expedite the process of completing starter homes for developments of 10 homes or less.

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