I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. As we turn the calendar to 2019, many significant pieces of legislation that my colleagues and I passed last year have become law.
The minimum wage in California is increasing to $12/hour for employees of companies with 26 or more employees and $11/hour for employees of smaller businesses. This puts California on track to have a $15/hour minimum wage starting in 2024.
Bay Area voters passed Regional Measure 3 (RM-3) in June of 2018, meaning that the tolls to cross most Bay Area bridges increased to $6 on January 1. Tolls will again increase by a dollar on January 1, 2022, and by another dollar on January 1, 2025 to $8 beginning that year. RM-3 will fund roads and public transportation projects around the Bay Area to help relieve traffic congestion.
The green and white decals that allow low-emission vehicles to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes have expired. If you were issued a green or white decal for your vehicle after January 1, 2017, you must apply for the red decal to continue using the HOV lane. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has begun issuing purple decals to "super ultra-low emission vehicles" at the beginning this year.
Governor Brown signed A.B. 1884 last fall, so you will now need to specifically request a plastic straw when eating at a restaurant. Limiting the use of plastic straws will help to reduce the amount of the amount of plastic pollution that California generates.
A.B. 516 requires that auto dealerships issue paper license plates at the point of sale. This will eliminate the temporary license plates with the dealership's information and ensure that all drivers pay required tolls.
Police departments are now required to release body camera footage within 45 days of any incident where an officer's use of force causes death or great bodily harm because the California Legislature passed A.B. 748.
In addition to these bills, Governor Brown signed eight bills that I authored in 2018. A.B. 1798 will require that all school buses will be equipped with seatbelts by 2035 to ensure California's children have safe transportation to and from school. A.B. 2022 will require K – 12 schools to notify students and parents twice a year regarding available mental health services.
I also want to mention exciting news that our district recently received funding for Arbor Park Apartments, an affordable housing project in San Jose. This means that there will be 75 more housing units for families in our community.
I am looking forward to another productive 2019 legislative year. To keep up to date on state and local matters and to learn about my upcoming events, please visit my website or contact my District Office at (408) 262-2501.
Assemblymember, 25th District