But a new California law aimed at easing our housing crisis is essentially ending single-family zoning. As of Jan. 1, property owners can build up to three additional units on their land, allowing single-family homes to be transformed into as many as four units.
Read more from The New York Times.
Accurately labeled olive oil
All containers of olive oil marketed as being from California must include on the label the percentage of the product derived from olives grown in the state. The new law is an effort to protect consumers from misleading advertising and to support local farmers.
No more mandatory minimums for drug crimes
This new law eliminates the mandatory prison and jail sentences for certain drug offenses and allows judges to order probation instead. The state had adopted mandatory minimums during the height of the war on drugs.
“If we are serious about ending the war on drugs, which has been a racist policy failure, then we must start by expanding alternatives to incarceration for those who commit nonviolent drug offenses,” Scott Wiener, a state senator from San Francisco, who proposed the change, told The Los Angeles Times. “It’s simple: Judges should not be forced to send someone to jail.”
Changing names on diplomas
Public colleges in California must now update diplomas and transcripts for transgender students who have changed their names or gender. California is believed to be the first state to ban colleges from “deadnaming,” or using the name that someone was assigned at birth but no longer identifies with.
Read more from CalMatters.
Hourly wages for garment workers
California is now the first state to require that employers pay garment factory workers by the hour, instead of per piece of clothing. Piece-rate compensation often meant that workers were earning below minimum wage.
Streamlining end-of-life law
In 2016, California became one of a small number of states to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a prescription from a doctor. The concept was controversial, and numerous safeguards were written into the law.
But now, given increased public acceptance, lawmakers are streamlining the process. Instead of requiring that the patient make two separate requests for the fatal medicines 15 days apart, the new law says the wait between requests must be only two days. It also eliminates the need for a written statement from the patient.
died as a prisoner in Stockton.
Pilot rescued: The pilot of a plane that had crashed onto a Los Angeles train track was pulled from the wreckage just seconds before a train smashed into it.
Police officers fired: A court ruled that it was appropriate for two Los Angeles police officers to be fired in 2017 for playing a video game instead of responding to a call, The Associated Press reports.
Elizabeth Holmes trial: If you wondered what it was like to serve as a juror in Silicon Valley’s trial of the decade, Susanna Stefanek can tell you.
Treasure hunt: A 21-year-old college student disappeared while hiding the prize for a family treasure hunt, The Guardian reports.
What you get
Three $1.4 million homes in California.