CALIFORNIA—Starting January 1, new laws were implemented throughout the state of
California. Governor Jerry Brown signed 875 laws in 2012, which will take effect this year. One of them is Proposition 30, which the public voted on last November increasing sales tax a quarter-cent to fund education and public safety. In addition, people making over $250,000 of taxable income per year will see their income taxes increased.
People, who are seeking jobs, no longer have to worry about their Facebook layouts when they apply for work. Two new laws will go into effect within the next few weeks protecting people’s privacy. Job-seekers will not be required to share their usernames and passwords for application purposes to employers.
Governor Jerry Brown. Photo courtesy of www.CA.gov
Amongst other laws is the prohibition of therapy to minors who are gay in an effort to change their sexual orientation.
California has become the first state in the country to adopt a measure like this. The “Good Samaritan” Prevention Law, which encourages people to contact 911 in case of serious emergencies of alcohol or drug overuse without fear of being prosecuted for minor drug crimes. The only exception to this law is drug-dealers and drunk drivers who would still face criminal charges.
New laws for motorist who have been arrested under the suspicion of driving under the influence will no longer be able to take a urine test. Another change to driving laws is the ability to demonstrate proof of insurance and registration when asked for it by using their smart phones or tablets.
Drivers now have the ability to speak on the phone or text, as long as it is being done with a hands-free device. People who have proof that their presence in the U.S. are authorized under federal law, but cannot obtain a social security number, can now apply for a driver’s license. However, they will have to meet all requirements in order to obtain their license. In the case of driverless vehicles, they will be allowed to be on the roads under the condition of having a human person present to prevent any accident from occurring.
There has been a change to the state’s discrimination laws, which make accommodations for religious grooming and dress practices. The code AB 23970 has replaced mental retardation with the term intellectual disability. The Fair Employment and Housing Act also now include breastfeeding.