(KTXL) — It’s the middle of the year, but several new laws or their provisions are going to take effect in California at the start of July.
Most new state laws go into effect on January 1, but the Legislature sometimes designates some laws or certain provisions of these to go into effect in the middle of the year, or even immediately upon the signature of the governor.
•Video Above: Laws that took effect in January 2023 in California
Here’s a collection of the laws and provisions that will go into effect on July 1, including laws regarding teacher retirement plans, online sellers and new requirements for bounty hunters.
Stricter measures against sales of firearm-related products
AB 1594, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), requires firearm manufacturers and their distributors to closely monitor the sale of firearm-related products and prohibits unfair and unlawful marketing and advertising of these products.
The measure also allows state and local governments and residents to file a civil lawsuit against firearm manufacturers who do not follow this new law.
The law takes effect in the state six months after a first law that allows residents to sue people and gun dealers who violate California laws against the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and other banned firearms.
Automatic sealing of most criminal records
SB 731 makes California the first state to automatically seal most criminal and arrest records for people who complete their sentences and are not repeat offenders.
The measure will seal the criminal records automatically once four years have passed after the completion of a sentence and if no other conviction has occurred since.
Records of an arrest that did not result in a conviction will also be sealed.
Criminal records involving serious and violent felonies, as well as records requiring sex offender registration, will not qualify for automatic sealing.
Criminal records will still be disclosed in background checks for jobs in education, law enforcement or public office.
Housing on commercial sites and along transit, plus jobs
The two laws together will help with the construction of new housing for low and middle income residents on underused commercial sites that are zoned for retail, parking or office space, and for housing near existing transit or where new transit projects will be built, according to Newsom’s office.
The two laws will also reinforce health benefits and wage laws with contractors building housing, and encourage these contractors to offer apprenticeships.
Educators paying back “overpayments” on retirement plans
Thousands of educators had their retirement benefits miscalculated by district officials or CalSTRS, the teachers’ state retirement agency, and when audits were done, some had to pay back some of the benefits.
AB 1667 will not require teachers to pay back overpayments detected in audit reports that are generated after 2023, but there is no provision to assist teachers whose overpayments were detected in the past.
About 5% of audits result in some sort of adjustment, whether positive or negative, according to The Mercury News.
Online sellers will need to disclose more information
SB 301 will require online marketplaces to keep track of more information about third-party sellers that generate a “high volume” of sales, including contact information and a bank account number or the name of the payee who is conducting the sales.
Online marketplaces will also need to keep track of changes that third-party sellers make to the information they provide. Violations of the new law could result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each occurrence.
Allowing electronic filing of certain restraining orders
AB 2960 expands the use of electronic filing of petitions for domestic violence restraining orders or gun violence restraining orders and related paperwork filings.
The law would also require that actions and information associated with these petitions also be able to be accessed electronically, such as the initial request, information about court dates, copies of the request, and temporary restraining orders.
Information on accessing and submitting restraining orders will also be required to be posted on court or court facility websites.
Forgiveness on interest related to unclaimed property
Another law that goes into effect in July is AB 2280, but it hinges on the Legislature including funding in the Budget Act, which is still not completely finalized.
The law would allow the state Controller’s office to establish a way to forgive interest charged on unclaimed property if the owner can demonstrate a reasonable failure to report it and participates in training and a review of books and records.
Unclaimed property is the term used for financial properties, such as stocks, dividends and uncashed payroll that have not been fully resolved between the payee and the owner, leading to it being handed over to the state until it is claimed, where it is then subject to state income taxes, plus interest.
Bounty hunters will need to be licensed, trained
AB 2043 will require bounty hunters, the people hired by bail bond companies and agencies to search for people who miss their court dates, to receive training and be licensed and registered with the state.
Bounty hunters, also known as bail fugitive recovery persons, have not been required to be licensed, although the California Department of Insurance does regulate the bail industry and bail agents.