10 new laws impacting San Diegans in 2023

Be prepared for changes from jaywalking to food containers.

San Diego County Administration Building from Waterfront Park

The San Diego County Administration Building seen from Waterfront Park.

Photo via Canva

This month, you’ll change more than just the calendar — the new year also enacts new laws and amends existing ones. Here are some of the new local and statewide regulations now being enforced that could impact your daily life.

  • The “Freedom to Walk Act” — under AB-2147 — permits pedestrians to cross unmarked streets, or “jaywalk,” provided the path is clear. People must still yield to oncoming traffic.
  • The state enacted multiple laws pertaining to reproductive rights and health care access, aligning with San Diego’s commitment to offer safe access to reproductive services. These include AB-2223 protecting abortion access, AB-2134 providing equitable health care, and SB-1142 requiring a website outlining information about reproductive services to be available by July 1.
  • New residential developments will not have a parking space requirement if within a half-mile of public transit.
  • AB-1287 was put into effect to ban gender-based price discrimination, often called the “pink tax.” The regulation aims to prevent products from being priced differently based on the audience they are marketed toward.
  • California Highway Patrol will be able to issue “Yellow Alerts” to help find vehicles involved in fatal hit-and-runs or “Feather Alerts” to aid in the investigation of a missing indigenous woman or indigenous person.
  • Cars must move to the left lane when passing bikers heading in the same direction, but only if it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, the car must slow for the biker and only pass when safe.
  • As a result of AB-2963, California’s minimum wage was raised to $15.50, but San Diego’s minimum wage is now $16.30.
  • As of Dec. 21, 2022, the sale of flavored tobacco products is prohibited in the state of California. Prior to the statewide decision, San Diego and Chula Vista voted to ban these sales, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
  • The state banned the sale and production of new fur clothing and accessories, but will not prevent the resale of these products.
  • On April 1, 2023, San Diego will become the largest city in California to ban the use of polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) food containers, coolers, and pool toys. The regulation will also require restaurants to only provide straws and utensils upon request.