New State Laws Take Effect

Political Connection
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Many of the most publicized new laws like paid sick leave and the plastic bag ban don’t take effect until July. But there are plenty of the 930 new laws that were passed by the legislature took effect on New Year’s Day.

Law enforcement officers will now have procedures in place to access the state gun database before they go out on welfare calls. That was not the case when Santa Barbara police checked on a deranged gunman just before he went on a killing spree in May of 2014.

Nude selfies can no longer be resent or posted online without the subject’s permission. It appears that revenge porn is a growing problem.

Mug shot companies who put arrest photos on their websites can no longer charge people for removing them. Some feel it’s a type of extortion.

A known problem for years has been cell phone thefts. Cell phones sold in California are now required to have kill switch software which allows stolen smartphones to be deactivated.

Homeowners Associations can no longer force members to water their lawns or prevent them from installing drought resistant landscaping.

Dog owners can now legally bring their pets to restaurant with outdoor dining capability. State health and safety codes prevented dining with dogs, although many local governments and restaurants looked the other way.

Parents can now have information on what chemicals are used on K through 12 campuses and some day cares. That includes pesticides, herbicides and cleaning chemicals.

And lawmakers can now preempt ballot initiatives that have gathered 25% or more of the signatures required for ballot by holding hearings and drafting similar legislation. Initiative sponsors would have the option of suspending their efforts.

Ballot initiatives are often poorly drafted and vague making them legal nightmares. And enacting a law by the legislature could save initiative sponsors millions of dollars in signature gathering and campaign costs.

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