Nearly 900 new laws will go into effect in California starting next year. Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed just 156 of the 1,046 bills that reached his desk this legislative session. Several measures will be first-in-the-nation efforts, including the Ebony Alert system that is specifically geared toward finding missing Black children and women. Newsom approved dozens of bills aimed at making housing more affordable in California, including one that will limit renters’ security deposits to no more than one month’s rent.

On this week’s “In Focus SoCal,” host Tanya McRae takes a closer look at several of California’s new laws. State Sen. Anthony Portantino joins the conversation to discuss new gun safety measures, one of which will strengthen the state’s public carry regulations.

“Being able to carry a gun is a responsibility just like being able to drive," said Portantino.

SB 2 ensures that those carrying firearms in public are responsible, law-abiding citizens who do not pose a danger to themselves or others. The law also identifies certain public places where guns may not be carried.

Portantino also discussed SB 786, which permits health care providers and pharmacies to continue to provide high quality affordable care, low-cost drugs, and services to low-income and uninsured patients.

“What we've done is we've streamlined that process to make sure that those middle folks, the middle tier, isn't taking the prescription benefits,” he said. “Many of the drug manufacturers offer rebates and offer opportunities to get reduced prices. The middlemen were taking those reductions but not passing the savings off to the clinics.”

Laurel Rosenhall, the Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, also joins this week’s show to discuss some other landmark bills that the governor signed into law. SB 616 will guarantee employees five paid sick days per year, up from the current three.

“Several years ago, it was a really controversial issue in the Capitol when California passed a law requiring three paid sick days,” said Rosenhall. “This year, legislators came back and proposed boosting that up to seven paid sick days as a minimum requirement, and through the course of negotiations, they’ve settled on five.”

Newsom also approved a historic legislative package that will overhaul the mental health system in California. One part expands the definition of “gravely disabled” with the addition of substance use disorder. SB 54 will allow more opportunities for holding someone against their will.

“It’s controversial because some people see it as inhibiting people’s civil rights potentially, you know, discriminating against people on the basis of a disability,” said Rosenhall. “On the other hand, there were a lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, who really felt that the visible reality in many California cities, people walking around with untreated mental health and untreated substance abuse issues, has just gotten to be too severe.”

Send us your thoughts to and watch at 9 a.m. and noon Sunday.