NEW California laws you should know to avoid expensive tickets!
Legislation effective today will change how Californians drive with cellphones, get paid, firearms, consume alcohol, baby seats and sex crimes.
See California’s new laws!
Senate Bill 3: As a result of a legislative compromise agreed upon last spring, the state’s minimum wage rises to $10.50, and eventually to $15 per hour by 2022. The new provision applies only to businesses with more than 26 employees.
Assembly Bill 51: Authorizes the California Highway Patrol to create educational guidelines around the practice of motorcyclists riding between lanes and cars, or lane splitting.
Assembly Bill 53: Children under 2 years old must sit in rear-facing car seats, unless they are taller than 40 inches or heavier than 40 pounds.
Assembly Bill 1785: You already couldn’t text and drive in California — now add to that a new ban on holding and operating your smartphone in any way, such as using Snapchat or checking Google Maps.
Senate Bill 1235: Democrats in the Legislature were able to get a large portion of their gun control bills signed into law. Months later, voters approved Proposition 63, which included many similar regulations. This bill from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León requires background checks for ammunition purchases.
Senate Bill 1446: Californians will be barred from possessing high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
Assembly Bill 1511: Restricts the lending of firearms to family members only (and that lending must be infrequent and for less than 30 days at a time).
Senate Bill 880 and Assembly Bill 1135: Guns with a bullet button are now classified as assault weapons and banned. The button was used to detach a gun magazine, getting around the state law that outlawed detaching magazines without the use of tools.
Assembly Bill 30: Public school teams can no longer be named the Redskins. Four schools had the name when the bill was signed in 2015. Gustine High School became the Reds, while Chowchilla Union High School and Tulare Union High School switched to the Tribe. Calaveras High School punted on the decision, and has no mascot.
Senate Bill 813: Two new laws going on the books in 2017 were directly inspired by a pair of high-profile sexual assault cases. California will no longer limit the prosecution window for rape and sexual assault to 10 years, meaning sex crimes occurring in 2017 and beyond can be prosecuted at any point in the future. The repealing of these statutes of limitations was inspired by the accusations made against comedian Bill Cosby.
Assembly Bill 2888: Legislation inspired by the sentencing of Brock Turner now requires mandatory prison time for rape and the sexual assault of an unconscious person. In somewhat of a surprising move, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill despite his opposition to many mandatory sentencing laws.
Senate Bill 1322: Prosecutors can no longer charge minors with prostitution, and will instead treat young people as victims.
Senate Bill 443: Sen. Holly Mitchell fell short in an attempt to reform the state’s asset forfeiture rules in 2015, but succeeded this year with bipartisan support. Law enforcement is required to secure a conviction before it can seize assets worth less than $40,000. The law previously barred only seizures of property worth less than $25,000 without a conviction.
Assembly Bill 1386: Californians have seen many high-profile health laws take effect in the last year, including an end to personal belief vaccine exemptions and a new smoking age of 21. This legislation allows businesses and colleges to provide EpiPens for people who are suffering from severe allergic reactions. In his signing message, Gov. Jerry Brown called out the EpiPen manufacturer for price gouging.
Assembly Bill 1668: Patients with a terminal illness can use experimental drugs that do not yet have full approval from the Federal Drug Administration.
Assembly Bill 1494: The conversation about ballot selfies went viral long before the practice was actually allowed in California. But starting in 2017, voters can take a picture of themselves with their completed ballot.
Assembly Bill 2010: In an effort to cut down on the expense of running for public office, local candidates in races for nonpartisan posts will be allowed to post candidate statements in the county’s online voter guide for free. Many counties currently charge candidates to include their statements in the printed voter pamphlet.
Assembly Bill 2466: Felons serving time in county jail will be allowed to vote in state elections. Following the state’s criminal justice realignment, voting rights have been extended to felons under mandatory supervision and community supervision.
Assembly Bill 1322: While it didn’t go into effect until after New Year’s Eve, California barbers and hairstylists are now allowed to serve alcohol to patrons without a license. Let’s hope the drinks are used to fuel therapy sessions and debates about NBA point guards — and not help patrons forget about their new ‘do gone wrong.
Assembly Bill 1554: California joined dozens of other states by banning the possession and sale of powered alcohol.
Assembly Bill 2172: Beer enthusiasts can share their home-brew concoctions outside their homes at authorized brew clubs and competitions.