New Laws on the Books for 2016

Staff Reports

On January 1, several new laws will hit California.  Here are some that might affect you and your family:

  • SB 172 suspends the administration of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) at least through the 2018 school year. High school seniors will receive their diploma without having to pass an exit exam.  Students who were unable to pass the exams since 2004 will also retroactively be granted their diplomas;
  • AB604 mandates that motorized skateboard users must be 16 years old, must wear helmets, and forbids the use of them while under the influence.
  • SB 178 will help protect citizen privacy by requiring law enforcement to obtain search warrants in order to examine citizens’ emails, text messages, Internet search history and other digital data;
  • In a bill authored to cut down on accidental police shootings, SB 199 will require airsoft guns to show aspects marking them as toys, such as fluorescent trigger guards;
  • In a hotly contested bill, SB 277 will require most children to obtain full vaccination by July so they can attend school in September. This bill was introduced after the Measles outbreak last spring.  It removes the “personal belief” exemption for public and private school students and those in public and private daycares and other licensed facilities;
  • SB 549 allows in-game charity raffles to allow winners to keep 50 percent of ticket sales. The previous law allowed charity raffles only when 90% of ticket sales were going to charity;
  • SB 588 permits the California Labor Commissioner to place a lien on an employer’s property to try and recoup the value of wages left unpaid if an employee has not been paid his/her full wages;
  • In a bill sponsored by California College and University Police Chiefs Association, SB 707 bans concealed firearms from college campuses and K-12 school grounds;
  • AB 329 makes participation in sex education courses mandatory for students unless parents purposely opt-out, and also includes the teaching of a fluid gender identity;
  • AB 359: Forces stores to keep employees for at least 90 days so they cannot be fired as a result of buyouts or mergers;
  • In another hotly contested fight for religious freedom, AB 775 will force crisis pregnancy centers to post a sign alerting clients of the existence nearby of public family planning programs, including abortions. These pregnancy centers are unhappy that they will have to mention abortion services when most are pro-life.
  • AB 1014 will permit family members to obtain a restraining order to keep relatives who might commit gun violence from owning a gun. This bill was introduced after Elliot Rodger stabbed his roommates and went on to shoot several others near the University of California at Santa Barbara.
  • In an effort to discourage frivolous proposals, AB 1100 will raise the fee for a statewide proposition from $200 to $2,000.
  • AB 1422 , in an attempt to enhance passenger safety, compels Uber, Lyft, and similar entities to give the California Department of Motor Vehicles access to driver records.