Aside from the latest employment-related laws referenced in yesterday’s newsletter, California has passed additional laws effective January 1, 2021 concerning housing, health, and consumer protections. A few of the key laws outside of the workplace include the following:
• Property Tax Break: California homeowners who are 55 or older,
can get a property tax break when moving to a new home, under
a voter approved law, that blends the taxable value of the old
home with that of the new, more expensive home.
• Expanded Mental Health Parity: Previously, private insurance
companies were only required to cover treatment associated with
nine specific mental health issues and could deny coverage of
others. Now, any treatment deemed “medically necessary” for
mental health and substance abuse concerns must be covered by
insurance under the same terms as other medical conditions.
• Generic Prescription Drugs: Under this new law, the California
Health and Human Services Agency will enter partnerships with
drug manufacturers to make prescriptions more affordable. State
agencies will deliver a report in July detailing if a “viable pathway”
exists for the state to produce or distribute certain drugs or types of
insulin at a more reasonable price than what is currently available.
• Food Delivery Safety: App-based food delivery services must
obtain permission from a restaurant before delivering its food.
Those companies must also ensure safety seals on food items
aren’t broken and temperature controls are used during delivery.
• New Consumer Financial Protections: The California Department
of Financial Protection and Innovation, a body modeled on the
federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saw its powers
expanded on January 1st. A particular emphasis will be put on
protecting residents from “pandemic-inspired scams,” which were
widespread in 2020.
RPNA will continue to keep you updated of legislative developments throughout the year.