Hemet and California ring in New Year with new legislation
■ By Jason Miller / Contributed
With the start of the new year comes new state laws and a new city ordinance.
In the city of Hemet, Measure Z has just gone into effect. The measure is a marijuana business prohibition and tax referral which was approved by voters in last years Nov. 6 midterm election. Measure Z imposes a general tax on all cannabis businesses operating within the City of Hemet while establishing the following tax rates:
· $30 per square foot of each cultivation business (excluding square footage not used for cultivation activities), which increases annually based on the Consumer Price Index;
· 25 percent of the gross receipts of each manufacturing business; and
· 15 percent of the gross receipts of each dispensary or other cannabis business that is not cultivation or manufacturing, such as testing laboratories and distribution centers.
The tax revenues received from Measure Z will be deposited into the city’s General Fund and can be spent for any lawful municipal purposes, including police and fire protection, road improvements, and parks and recreation.
Also going into effect is SB 65, which bans drivers and their passengers from smoking or eating marijuana/cannabis-related products while operating a vehicle.
Some of the other state laws going into effect include:
SB 1138 – The state of California will be the first state to provide prison inmates with an all-vegan menu, SB 1138 passed in Sacramento unanimously. The bill also requires hospitals and healthcare facilities to offer the plant-based means to patients.
AB 1884 and SB 1192 – Starting this year full-service restaurants will be banned from providing plastic straws under AB (assembly bill) 1884; dine-in restaurants will be allowed to provide plastic straws but only at a customers request. Violators will receive a warning for their first two violations followed by a $25 fine per day after each violation. Restaurants also have to advertise that kids meals include water or unflavored milk as the default beverage under SB 1192. The bill was passed to fight against childhood obesity and other health issues.
Preston Houser, manager of the Denny’s in San Jacinto, told the Valley Chronicle that, “some of the customers who have come into to the restaurant were not aware of the plastic straw law (AB 1884) and asked why they were not getting a straw. Houser also says, “Customers will need an adjustment period,” to get used to taking the initiative in asking the waiter/waitress for a plastic straw if they want one. On SB 1192 Houser says, “After the bill passed last summer the company [Denny’s] started changing their menus five to six months before the law went into effect and that the response to them has been minimal.”
SB 1300, SB 224, SB 820 – In response to the MeToo movement, three new laws went into effect in 2019 that ban private and public employers from reaching secret settlements and non-disclosure agreements regarding sexual assault, harassment or discrimination. SB 224 further strengthens prohibitions against harassment in professional relationships.
AB 168, AB 19 – Employers are no longer able to ask job applicants about their salary history, compensation or benefits under AB 168. Employers will also have to disclose pay scales for a job if an applicant asks for them.
First time students who are going to be attending community colleges full time for the first time this year will have their enrollment fees waived across the state of California under AB 19.