California governor signs dozens of bills: Here's how businesses will be affected

Dozens of California bills signed into law will mean big changes for businesses in a number of industries operating in the state.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he had signed more than 70 bills — and vetoed 58 — on Saturday. They cover a wide range of issues, from health care to school lunches to electric car charging stations.

Describing the state as “a leader” in issues like promoting animal welfare and moving away from fossil fuels, Newsom said the bills “put intentions into action.”

Here’s a look at some of the major issues covered by the new laws:

Fossil fuels

Six of the bills relate to fossil fuels and environmental conservation. State entities will be prohibited from providing land for new oil- or gas-related infrastructure on federally protected lands. Oil and gas well operators will be required to provide estimates for the cost of plugging and abandoning wells and decommissioning production facilities.

“These reforms and new leadership will enhance safety of existing oil wells, refocus the state’s geologic energy division to better consider public health and fight against the Trump administration’s efforts to expand oil extraction in California,” Newsom said in a press release.


Several bills signed into law will also touch the marijuana business. One mandates the creation of a universal symbol for cannabis vape cartridge packaging in addition to the required cannabis labeling. Another adds tougher rules for labeling the origin of cannabis in order to prevent the use of misleading names that could confuse consumers about the kind of cannabis.

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Marijuana businesses and people working in the industry will be able to deduct business expenses, which is currently not allowed under federal law. The bill only covers the next five years.

In this Dec. 29, 2017, photo, marijuana plants are shown at the KindPeoples dispensary in Santa Cruz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Animal welfare

The sale of clothes, handbags and shoes made from animals will be banned starting in 2023. It will also be illegal to sell alligator, crocodile, lizard, hippo and caiman skins. Another bill signed into law bans the use of bears, tigers, elephants, monkeys and other wild animals in circuses.

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“We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames,” Newsom said. “Just YouTube the videos showing the cruel way these animals — often stripped from their mothers as babies — are trained to do dangerous tricks. It’s deeply disturbing.”


A firearms bill expands existing laws for gun storage and requiring gun owners to keep their firearms out of children’s hands. Anyone convicted of breaking these rules would be banned from owning a firearm for 10 years. It came after Newsom also signed new gun sales rules into law.

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One bill adds protections for homeowners by requiring insurers to send a notice of nonrenewal 75 days before a policy expires — up from the current 45 days — and requires insurers to continue an existing policy for 75 days with no changes from the date the notice is delivered or mailed. It also raises the limit on homeowner insurance claims covered by the California Insurance Guarantee Association from $500,000 to $1 million.

In a statement, Newsom said he hoped the law will address a rise in homeowner insurance policy nonrenewals, but he wants lawmakers to take more action on it next year.

Homes leveled by the Camp Fire line Valley Ridge Drive in Paradise, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)