The new year ushers in new laws.  Here are some notable changes in the law for 2023.

In-person DMV renewal

During the pandemic, the DMV allowed older drivers to renew online. But things go back to normal in 2023. Starting in 2023, California law will require drivers 70 and older to renew their license in person at a DMV office. We hope those DMV lines get shorter in 2023. We hope the inconvenience of older drivers having to stand in line to renew their licenses may be lessened by the DMV’s newly implemented technology and improved customer service.

Higher pay for fast food workers

It’s about time that the people we depend on to make our fast food get paid more. We don’t know if this is final yet, but we do know that there will be a cap of $22 per hour. Things are still being worked out. Our food workers get enough credit for making our coffee or breakfast in the morning. While this cap of $22 may not be enough to cover the cost of living for many in our country, it is a step in the right direction.

New punishments for school hate crimes

A more expansive law to deter and prevent hate crimes will take effect this year. Those who use hateful symbols in hate crimes, such as swastikas, nooses, and desecrated crosses, face harsher penalties.  This comes at a time when hate crimes in many of our public schools are on the rise. This new law should make schools safer for youngsters.

Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage in California will increase to $15.50 an hour. Inflation has been on the minds of many during the last year. Just by walking through the aisles of a grocery store, you can see that the prices of things like milk, bread, meat, and household supplies are going up. With this new minimum wage, many people will have more money in their pockets to spend on food, clothing, and other necessities. To make ends meet, people are often forced to work multiple jobs in order to make enough money. Let’s hope this helps.

Land for affordable housing

One of my biggest issues for 2022 is homelessness.  On my way to work from the East Bay to downtown San Francisco, it makes me sad to see people camping in dirty places. It’s hard to imagine how terrible life must be for them right now, what with all the bad weather. And I can see that homelessness is getting worse as time goes on. The only way to reduce this issue is to provide more land for affordable housing.  The Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act identifies parking, retail, and office building zones for housing. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

Support for diabetics

On the federal level, the cost of a life-saving drug for people with diabetes will be capped starting on Jan. 1. The Inflation Reduction Act limits out-of-pocket insulin costs to $ 35 per month. This will help many of the older people who can’t afford their medicines. However, only Medicare-eligible seniors will be able to receive it.

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