California State Assembly room

The room of the California State Assembly in Sacramento.

The “bacon” law, minimum wage, cocktails to-go and police restrictions are just a sampling of the hundreds of new laws taking effect in California as the new year kicks off.

Proposition 12

Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, sometimes referred to as the “bacon” law, stems from a 2018 ballot measure where California voters set the nation's toughest living space standards for breeding pigs, which states that they must be allotted 24 square feet per pig. 

Simply stated, the above-mentioned animals cannot be housed in a cruel manner. 

Egg-laying hens are included in the proposition and must be cage-free with adequate space, a minimum of 144 square inches per hen. Additionally, it states that calves, intended to be sold as veal, must be housed with a minimum of 43 square feet per calf.

Effective Saturday, pork sales from operations that confine sows in crates and egg-laying hens in cages are considered illegal operations, whether the products were produced in or out of state, according to Cage Free Laws.

Californians consume roughly 15% of the nation’s pork and 12% of the eggs and veal, which means any producers who supply the state will also be required to follow the law once it goes into effect.

Senate Bill 395

Beginning Saturday, the state is launching a pilot program dubbed the “road kill bill,” which will allow people to collect and eat roadkill, including deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig that “have been hit and killed by a vehicle.” 

Californians have to report the find and secure a permit before consuming the animal. The state has plans to create an online and mobile-friendly way to report roadkill. 

Senate Bill 3

On the first day of the year, California will become the first state to require a $15-an-hour minimum wage for businesses with more than 25 employees. Some cities in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay areas have already implemented the higher wage.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees will be required to start employees at a minimum wage of $14 and jump up to $15 per hour on Jan. 1, 2023. Minimum wage will then rise annually based on inflation.

Additionally, California is also the first state to protect warehouse employees from being fired for not making quotas that interfere with workers' rights, like bathroom and rest breaks, and is the first to mandate hourly wages for garment workers.

Senate Bill 389

The pandemic paved the way for establishments already selling alcohol to offer pre-made cocktails for pickup and delivery. The convenience of buying to-go cocktails, and other alcoholic beverages made legal by the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, will be allowed to continue through Dec. 31, 2026, but only in regards to the pickup of said beverages. 

The delivery of to-go cocktails ended Friday.

Signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October, the bill is designed to help restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries that sell food to continue offering cocktails-to-go as a means of financial recovery. 

The passage of the bill will also allow patrons to keep ordering cocktails, beer and wine in outdoor dining parklets for the next five years.

Assembly Bill 48/Senate Bill 2/Assembly Bill 490

The 2020 murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police department officer Derek Chauvin ignited unrest in cities across the country and spurred the legislation of several new laws restricting police response in 2021. 

The new police reform bill includes limiting the use of kinetic projectile weapons, such as rubber bullets, and chemical agents, such as tear gas, to disperse crowds at protests or against a person for violating “an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or noncompliance with a law enforcement directive,” according to the bill signed by the governor in September. 

Other police restriction laws bar the use of a carotid restraint, or choke hold, that has led to deaths and clarifies when officers have a duty to intervene to prevent excessive force or report it when it takes place; expand the list of police misconduct records that must be made public; require the state attorney general to investigate all fatal shooting by police officers of unarmed civilians, including anywhere there is a reasonable dispute over whether that civilian was armed; and increase the minimum age to become a police officer from 18 to 21. 

Assembly Bill 367

Assembly Bill 367, known as the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021, which states that all California public schools maintaining any combination of classes from grades 6 to 12 must provide an adequate supply of feminine hygiene products in women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms, and in at least one men’s restroom, on campus prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

In addition, the bill would require the California State University and each community college district, and would encourage the Regents of the University of California and private universities, colleges, and institutions of higher learning, to stock an adequate supply of menstrual products, available and accessible free of cost at no fewer than one designated and accessible central location on each campus and to post a designated notice, as provided.

Assembly Bill 453

The non-consensual act of removing a condom during sex, known as stealthing, a form of sexual battery, has been banned by the state and is considered sexual assault with the passage of AB453. 

Assembly Bill 1171

In October, Newsom signed AB 1171 that modernizes the state’s antiquated spousal rape law. Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens), who authored the bill, celebrated the governor’s decision.

“From the beginning of our efforts, we have been clear that rape is rape, and a marriage license is not an excuse for committing one of society’s most violent and sadistic crimes,” she said. “AB 1171 will mandate adherence to a law that will protect vulnerable spouses in a union.”

This year, the state will officially eliminate the legal distinction between “rape” and “spousal rape.” While spousal rape was already a crime in the state, Assembly Bill 1171 prohibits varying penalties depending on whether the victim is married to their assailant. 

For a list of all new laws for 2022 visit:

Recommended for you