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New state laws authored by the San Diego delegation set to take effect in 2023

e-bike riders
AB 1946 by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, requires the California Highway Patrol to develop statewide safety and training programs for e-bike riders.
(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune
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From housing and climate action to e-bikes and reproductive rights, here are 10 California laws going into effect in 2023 that were authored by representatives whose districts include North County:

Reproductive rights

After the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade, California lawmakers put together a package of legislation aimed at preserving pro-choice policies in the state. One of those bills, SB 1375 by state Sen. Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will allow qualified nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives to provide first trimester abortions without a physician present.

“We will not leave Californians or anyone who comes here vulnerable to the whims of a dangerous minority who think a uterus makes someone incapable of making medical decisions about their own body,” Atkins said in a statement after the bill was signed into law in October.

Housing

Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D- Lakewood, also announced earlier this year an agreement on a package of housing bills designed to increase supply.

SB 6 by state Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Merced, and AB 2011 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Richmond, will allow residential development on parcels zoned for office, retail and parking.

“This is a monumental legislative agreement, and one of the most significant efforts to streamline and amplify housing production in decades,” Atkins said in a statement last summer when she announced the package of bills.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that the bills were part of a “package of smart, much-needed legislation that will help us build new homes while rebuilding the middle class.”

E-bikes

The rise in e-bike usage has corresponded with a rise in traffic accidents and other road violations. Carlsbad declared a local emergency over the rise in e-bike collisions throughout the city, including a few fatalities. Other cities, including Del Mar, have also discussed taking local safety measures.

AB 1946 by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, requires the California Highway Patrol to develop statewide safety and training programs for e-bike riders.

“E-bikes’ increased accessibility and speed require proven, statewide safety education and training programs on how to ride safely and legally,” Boerner Horvath said in a statement when the bill was signed by the governor.

Climate

Boerner Horvath’s AB 2204 adds a deputy secretary for climate in the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, to be appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate.

According to the text of the bill, this position will be responsible for “assisting in the oversight of California’s workforce transition to a sustainable and equitable carbon neutral economy.”

Boerner Horvath said in a statement that the bill creates “a key position within the Administration tasked with tracking the jobs and ensuring we have the workforce necessary to support our move toward 100% carbon-neutral energy.”

Work sharing

Another Boerner Horvath bill, AB 1854, continues an online process for participating in a state work-sharing program that helped employers retain their employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies that needed to shed payroll to stay in business were able to file for the program, which reimbursed employees for the pay cuts they had to take.

Firearm possession

AB 2239 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, D-San Diego, will mandate a 10-year ban on firearm possession for anyone with misdemeanor convictions of child endangerment and elder abuse after Jan. 1, 2023.

The assemblymember developed the bill with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and City Attorney Mara Elliot.

“We have all seen the ramifications of allowing firearms into the hands of the wrong individuals far too many times,” Maienschein said in a statement. “I am proud that the Governor signed my bill AB 2239, which will help California continue to advance common-sense protections for some of our most vulnerable, children and the elderly.”

Disability and aging rights

Maienschein’s AB 1663, the Probate Conservatorship Reform and Supported Decision-Making Act, was also signed into law.

The bill reforms the probate conservatorship system in California, and defines “supported decision-making” to ensure that state residents with intellectual, developmental, and age-related disabilities can make their own decisions.

“Having choice and control over one’s life is a right everyone deserves, including individuals with disabilities,” Maienschein said in a statement.

Tribal firefighters

AB 2661 by Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, extends college scholarship money to dependents of tribal firefighters who are killed or disabled in the line of duty. This benefit was already available to many other firefighters throughout the state, but dependents of firefighters who serve a tribal fire department were excluded.

“California’s mutual aid firefighting system ensures that tribal fire agencies stand side-by-side with state and local fire departments during wildfire emergencies,” Waldron said in a statement. “Many tribal fire departments report that a large number of their emergency calls involve incidents off the reservation. Obviously, firefighters employed by tribal fire departments deserve the same survivor benefits families of other first responders enjoy. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case.”

Solar energy

AB 2316 by Assemblymember Chris Ward, D-San Diego, creates a “community solar and storage program” that will bring solar energy to renters throughout the state. Customers of privately owned utilities will be able to choose whether they want to participate in the program.

“This legislation represents the most significant expansion of solar access to low- and middle-income communities in state history, allowing everyone to reap the benefits of clean energy without having to worry about the cost or structural challenges,” Ward said in a statement.

Substance use disorder counselors

Ward’s AB 1860 is designed to increase the number of counselors to deal with the nearly 3 million state residents who struggle with addiction.

“AB 1860 will streamline the process for graduate students to gain critical field experience, while entering the workforce sooner so they can begin saving lives,” Ward said in a statement.


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