New Year brought some new laws and alterations in the current laws in California that came into effect on January 1, 2017. There is an alteration in the way people do hands-free as Assemblymember Bill Quirk, the author of AB 1785 said, “This bill targets the deadliest cause of distracted driving related crashes, the use of an electronic device while driving. The accidents, injuries, and deaths associated with this form of distracted driving are completely preventable…This bill will save lives.”
Furthermore, the agency held a press release where they said, “As part of the continued mission of saving lives, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is seeking to educate the public on some of the new rules of the road taking effect at the beginning of next month.”
Here is some crucial information about the new laws and changes for 2017 in California:
Minimum Wages: For businesses with 26 or more workers under SB3 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the minimum wages will rise from $10 an hour to $10.50 and in 2022; it will ultimately increase to $15 an hour. However, for smaller workers, the law delays the advances by one year.
Assault Weapons: California’s gun laws became even tougher when the lawmakers passed a package of bills. Now, people who have magazines that hold more than 10 rounds will have to give them up. Also, prior to buying ammunition, people ought to first check the background. Anyone having a device called a bullet button will be prohibited to purchase a new weapon.
Handgun Storage: The rules that are applied on civilians will also apply to the law enforcement officers, for if they have weapons in an untended transport, they will have to securely put them in a lockbox out of plain view or in the trunk. SB 869 by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, ended a legal problem that had kept authorities and secreted weapons permit holders from these rules away.
Sexual Assault Sentencing: AB2888 clearly defined that a victim who is unconscious or incapacitated by drugs, alcohol or medication cannot agree to sex. Now, if someone sexually assaults an unconscious or highly inebriated person, then it will be considered a crime where the offender cannot receive probation.
Texting While Driving: The prohibition of texting while driving has been updated. AB1785 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, has made it apparent that state law bans the usage of any hand-held device in a form resulting in the driver’s distraction. However, motorists are allowed to use devices that are mounted or voice-operated and hands-free.
School Mascots: Under AB30 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, the name “Redskins” will be prohibited to be used by California public schools for sports teams and mascots as the term is considered rude by American Indians.
Child Safety Seats: Under AB53 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, children who are younger than 2 should be in rear-facing child restraint systems unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall.
Epipens: Under AB1386, EpiPens – used to treat people undergoing life-threatening allergic reactions – pharmacies are allowed to give the devices to colleges, private businesses, and other venues that have a plan in place for using them. Gov. Jerry Brown said the bill was signed because the move has the potential to save lives. But the quick increase in the cost of EpiPen manufacturer Mylan has been termed “rapacious corporate behavior” by him.
Building Safety: Following various structure failures, the monitoring of potential safety issues has become ardent and a working group has a year to decide whether changes are needed to state building codes. SB465 by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, requires proper distribution of information between state and local agencies regarding convictions, legal settlements, and contractors.
School Bus Safety: Child Alert System (SB 1072, Mendoza): This law orders all youth buses, school buses, school pupil activity buses and child care motor vehicles employed to carry school-age children to must have “child safety alert system.” All the schools should possess a transportation safety plan to make sure that in a transport, no child is left unattended.
Charter Bus Safety Improvements (SB 247, Lara): Buses that are manufactured after July 1, 2020, should be having emergency lighting installations that will activate in the situation of an accident. The law also requires a bus company to make sure that before any journey, the driver of the charter bus must give oral, written, or video instructions to all passengers regarding safety gears and emergency exits on the bus.
Right-to-Try: Under AB1668 by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, patients who are terminally ill will now be permitted to use experimental drugs that aren’t yet having absolute regulatory approval. It sanctions but does not require health plans to incorporate investigational drugs. Also, after other treatment options have been of no use, physicians who recommend these drugs to patients are also protected from disciplinary action.
Human Trafficking: Under SB1322 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, those under 18 will be treated as victims instead of charged with prostitution. It’s one of the several human trafficking-related bills that include increasing the age kids can testify outside a courtroom from 13 to 15, guarding victims’ names against disclosure and ordering that they have access to county services.
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