New California Laws in 2019

Minimum wage goes up. Plastic straws are out. Gun control is happening.

December 28, 2018

ID 121303162 © Hanohiki |


The New Year is here and with it a slew of new laws affecting Californians. 

Minimum Wage:

Many Californians can count on a pay bump this year as minimum wage rises to $12 for workers whose companies employ 26 employees or more and to $11 an hour for employees of other small businesses. This is in line with the state's goal of reaching a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021.


The convenience of voting by mail has caught on with California residents. In 2018 more than  11.5 million Californians received mail-in ballots. In 2019, in accordance with Assembly bill 216, election officials will provide prepaid mail ballots so that voters will not have to use their own stamps for return envelopes. 


 The state continues its campaign against the plastic straw. Starting in 2019, full-service restaurants will only serve patrons plastic straws upon request. 

Home Cooks:

Home cooks rejoice! In 2019 it is legal to sell homemade food (it was not before.) 

Gun Rights:

Starting in 2019 no one under the age of 21 will be able to purchase a rifle or shotgun in California. In addition, lifetime gun bans will be implemented on anyone convicted of serious domestic assault and on anyone hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health issues.

Concealed carry permits will come with a revamped, required gun-safety training course. 

The Justice System:

Starting January 1st Police agencies will be required to release body cam footage from shooting and other incidents within 45 days. Police misconduct records will also be made available to the public starting in the new year.

Minors under the age of 16 who are not being tried for rape or murder will no longer be tried in adult court. 

With the legalization of recreational marijuana, individuals can now petition the state to overturn or reduce some old convictions related to the drug. Assembly Bill 1793 makes the process easier by requiring the state to identify all eligible offenses by July. 


Emergency first responders now have the green light to help our furry companions in an emergency situation. Previously, emergency medical assistance could only be legally provided by licensed veterinarians. 

Electric Scooters:

Riders aged 18 and over are free to ride motorized scooters without a helmet on city streets at a speed up to 35 miles an hour. 


In 2019 California will enact its own Net Neutrality rules preventing internet providers from blocking or manipulating the speed of internet traffic. 

See more laws that will go into effect in 2019 here.