CALIFORNIA—With the help of California Governor Jerry Brown, the New Year is starting off with over 800 new laws that will impact the environment, criminal justice, and the healthcare system. Among those laws there are new education policies and equal pay bills that went into effect as early as January 1, 2016 while others will go into effect throughout the year.

SB 172 bill went into effect on January 1 and will impact the education system by allowing high school seniors to receive their diplomas whether they pass the state exam or not for the following three years. This new law will allow prior students who completed all graduation requirements, but did not pass the state test to receive their diplomas. On July 1, 2016, the bill SB 277 will implement a new strict vaccination law where children will not be allowed to attend school if they are not fully vaccinated as mandated by school policies, while any child who is unvaccinated will have to be home-schooled.

SB 358 is an equal pay bill that states that women will be able to sue employers against gendered pay discrimination based on wages of other employees who do substantially similar work. According to ABC7, the Fair Pay Act explains employers can justify higher wages for men only if the pay is based on seniority. In correlation with the equal pay bill, California’s minimum wage will increase from $9 per hour to $10 per hour on Friday, January 8. The state’s minimum wage is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage which sits at $7.25 per hour.

For further information regarding the 807 laws that have and will take effect in 2016 visit