Hundreds of new California laws took effect on Jan. 1, imposing a raft of new mandates on scores of issues. Some laws were the direct result of recent events, some are holdovers from years past, and some — including a new, official sport — are uniquely Californian.

In full-service restaurants, you’ll only be given a plastic straw if you ask for one.

California officials won’t be able to approve new onshore facilities to process additional offshore oil drilling in federal waters, ensuring no expansion of operations by the Trump administration.

California begins a historic effort to move toward 100% renewable energy.

After a federal effort was blocked, California enacts a state law to limit the use of certain refrigeration chemicals that are linked to climate change.

Pertaining to gun rights, California lawmakers sent the governor a bill that would raise the minimum age for buying long guns in the state from 18 to 21 and no one under the age of 21 can purchase a rifle or shotgun in California. There will be a lifetime gun ban for anyone convicted of serious domestic assault and a lifetime gun ban for anyone hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health problems. In addition, anyone who obtains a concealed weapons permit must obtain new gun safety training

In the category of criminal justice, many police misconduct records will now be available for public inspection including more police body camera footage. An accomplice to a killing can no longer be charged with felony murder and for the first time, we now have a minimum age -12 ,

at which most children can be tried in court for a crime. Court would remain an option for those charged with violent crimes such as murder or rape and children under the age of 16 will no longer be tried in adult courts.

At work, secret settlements with employers for sexual assault or harassment are now prohibited and there’s now a ban on the use of non-disparagement settlements with employers for incidents that happened in the workplace. State officials can no longer refuse a professional license to someone who has a low-level or nonviolent criminal record.

Any publicly traded corporation headquartered in California must have at least a small number of women on its board of directors and it is now illegal for anyone to use an online “bot” for tricking Californians into thinking a real person is peddling a product or seeking to influence an election.

California will begin implementing its own net neutrality rules so that internet providers can’t block content or alter the speed of internet traffic.

Day-to-day, s idewalk food vendors will have new statewide protections while also being required to follow local rules. The state will be required to help Californians clear marijuana-related convictions from their criminal records   and new and used cars must have a temporary, paper license plate before they are driven off the dealer’s lot.

When requested, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will issue driver licenses that don’t have a traditional binary gender preference, and will instead mark that space with an “X.”

Hotel and bus company customer lists can’t be given to immigration agents or others who aren’t California peace officers without court action.

Among the education and healthcare new laws, charter schools must have the safety plans as do neighborhood schools Charter schools must provide sex education programs as do neighborhood schools and state education officials must help develop media literacy programs to teach students how to spot fake news. The pharmaceutical industry must pay for collection of used medication and needles

With respect to wildfire safety and funding, one billion dollars in state government funds will be spent on additional wildfire-prevention efforts, including tree- and brush-removal programs and utilities will have new ways to mitigate the cost of fire-related payments. New garage doors installed as of this summer must have a backup battery that can lift the door in the event of a power outage and homeowners will have new rules for creating defensible space, free of fire-prone brush or vegetation, to prevent more fires.

Wildfire victims have new flexibility in how to use insurance coverage for rebuilding their homes and they will get an extra year — for a total of three years — to rebuild an insured home.

In the miscellaneous category, surfing is now California’s official state sport. Kids meals in most restaurants must have a milk- or water-based beverage as the default choice and a parent must request a soda for the child. Adults can legally ride a motorized rental scooter without a helmet and new rules will dictate how divorcing couples determine who gets the family pet.

State parks must now make clear on their websites if dogs are allowed and believe it or not, pet stores must sell only animals from shelter or rescue groups.

Welcome to 2019!

 

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