2021 Bills Signed into Law

 Health

Hepatitis B & C Screenings (AB 789) 

The bill requires clinics and hospitals that offer outpatient primary care to provide voluntary screening for hepatitis B and C to California adults. AB 789 will also help people who test positive to receive follow-up health care and treatment or a referral. Hepatitis B and C disproportionately affect the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Black communities, respectively. Something as simple as a no-cost, voluntary screening could have lifesaving impacts and increase generational wealth for thousands of families across the state.

Business_shopping Business

Gender-Neutral Retail (AB 1084)

The bill requires retailers with 500 or more California-based employees to provide a gender-neutral retail section for toys and childcare items. Stores that refuse to comply with AB 1084, which goes into effect in 2024, would face modest fines: $250 for a first violation and $500 for subsequent violations.

 Legal System/Courts

Conservatorship Reform (AB 1194)

The bill is the first step in overhauling California’s conservatorship system. In addition to ordering a comprehensive study of the system to be delivered to the Legislature by 2024, the bill:

Requires better coordination between the courts and the licensing entity for professional guardians and conservators, the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau.

  • Eliminates fees on fees when a conservator loses a court challenge to their fees or costs.
  • Provides the court with better medical information before a general conservatorship is established or a temporary conservator is permitted.
  • Allows a conservatee to appoint their own lawyer to represent them.
  • Establishes a new civil penalty against conservators who abuse conservatees.

 Elections

Campaign Finance Reform (AB 1367)

The bill increases penalties for the inappropriate personal use of campaign funds to up to twice the amount of the unlawful expenditure. Currently, a violation involving the illegal personal use of campaign funds is subject to a maximum administrative penalty of $5,000.

 Policing

Reducing Implicit Bias in Policing (AB 1475)

The bill prohibits police and sheriff’s departments from publishing the booking photos of suspects arrested on suspicion of committing a nonviolent crime to their social media accounts. Exceptions can be made if a person is considered a public safety threat. The law goes into effect in 2022.

 Business & Professions

Consumer Protections for the Automotive Repair Industry (AB 471) 

The bill requires automotive dealers with low-level citations to complete a remedial training course to avoid having the citations appear on the California Bureau of Automotive Repair’s dealer-locator website. AB 471 also establishes a more thorough vehicle safety inspection program for salvage vehicles before returning to the road.

More bills passed through the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions:

  • AB 846 extends the sunset on Job Order Contracting — an alternative procedure for smaller construction projects — so that school districts and community colleges can finish the work they have entered into through a Project Labor Agreement with a skilled and trained workforce.
  • AB 1532 extends the operation of the Board of Registered Nursing and certain COVID-19 flexibilities by one year.
  • AB 1533 extends the sunset date for the California State Board of Pharmacy to 2026, and it makes additional technical changes, statutory improvements, and policy reforms.
  • AB 1534 extends the sunset date for the California State Board of Optometry to 2026 and makes additional technical changes, statutory improvements, and policy reforms.
  • AB 1535 extends the authority of the Veterinary Medical Board to 2026, and it enacts various changes to the regulation of veterinary medical professionals.
  • AB 1536 extends the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) by three years, delegates the authority to issue default decisions and stipulated surrenders of licenses to its executive officer, requires the BVNPT to follow a timeline for approving schools, and establishes fees for schools seeking approval, among other changes. Governor Newsom signed this bill on Sept. 16.
  • AB 1537 extends the sunset date for the California Massage Therapy Council by one year, with a new repeal date of Jan. 1, 2023.