Saturday, January 7, 2012

New California Laws 2012

There were 747 new laws in California enacted in 2011. Even more were enacted in 2012. Here are just a few.

Child Booster Seat Law

The new California Booster Seat Law outlaws parents, guardians, or drivers from transporting on a highway in a motor vehicle any child under 8 years old without securing that child in an appropriate child restraint meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The new California law does contain a provision, however, that a child under 8 years of age who is 4'9" inches in height or taller may use a safety belt rather than a child safety seat or booster seat.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Handgun Open Carry Law

Open-carry citizen handgun ban.  Supported by cops who cannot tell whether openly carried weapons are loaded or not.  Violators pay $1,000 plus 6 months in jail (misdemeanor). Gun rights advocates vow to carry rifles and shotguns instead.  Californians can still get permits for concealed weapons, though it is increasingly difficult.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Human Trafficking Law

Enforces mandatory disclosure of efforts that companies take to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their entire supply chains.  Being watched as a prototype of future legislation in other states and nations.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Gay Bullying Law (Seth's Law)

Combats bullying of gay and lesbian students in public schools by requiring school districts to have a uniform process for dealing with gay bullying complaints. Mandates that school personnel intervene if they witness gay bullying.  Law effective July 1, 2012.

LGBT Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education Law

State universities and colleges must create and enforce campus policies protecting LGBTs from harassment and appoint employee contact persons to address on-campus LGBT matters. The law includes community colleges statewide.  Law effective 2012.

Domestic Partnership Equality Law

Corrects inequalities between domestic partnerships and heterosexual marriages, including domestic partner health benefits sharing.  Law effective 2012.

Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Law

Allows courts to consider the relationship between a child and a non-biological parent when considering child rights cases involving birth parents, adoptive parents, and gay or lesbian guardians.  Law effective 2012.

Transgender Non-Discrimination Law

Provides public accommodation and protection in education, housing and employment for gender identity and expression.  Law effective 2012.

Transgender Vital Statistics Law

Makes it easier for transgender Californians to get a court petition to change their gender on official documents.  Law effective 2012.

LGBT Equal Benefits Law

Requires an employer with a state contract worth more than $100,000 to have non-discrimination policies in place for LGBT workers and their partners.  Law effective 2012.

Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Law

Includes gender identity and sexual orientation of potential judges into the state's Judicial Applicant Data Report to ensure that state courts are diverse.  Law effective 2012.

Gay Divorce Law

Provides that if a gay couple got married in California but lives in a state that won't grant them a divorce, the California court will have jurisdiction to grant them a legal divorce. The case will be filed in the county where the gay couple got married.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

California Gay History Law

Governor Jerry Brown signed the Gay History Law, which mandates that school textbooks and social studies include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender accomplishments.  Law effective January 1, 2012.

Internet Sales Tax

Governor Brown signed into law that out-of-state Internet retailers must collect California sales tax on transactions if the retailer has a presence in the state.  Law effective Summer 2012.

California Renters Right to Recycling Law

Apartment building landlords will have to start providing recycling services for 7 million California tenants.  Law effective 2012.  Read "California Renters Recycling Law".

California Reader Privacy Law

Government and third-party snoops can no longer gather information on Internet users' reading, book shopping or ebook using habits without a legal court order.  Read "California Reader Privacy Law".

New California Vehicle Laws 2012

New DUI Law

Section 23579 has been added to the California Vehicle Code, which authorizes courts to revoke a driver's license for 10 years if a person is convicted of three or more DUIs.  Motorists may apply for reinstatement of their license with the DMV after five years, if the driver installs an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle.

New Double White Line Law

AB 1105 prohibits vehicles from crossing double parallel solid white lines in California, except where expressly permitted.

New Reckless Driving Restricted License Law

AB 520 allows California drivers convicted of reckless driving under Section 23103.5 of the Vehicle Code to apply for a restricted driver's license prior to the completion of their one-year suspension if they meet specific conditions, such as the installation of Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle.

New DUI Checkpoint Vehicle Impound Law

AB 353 prohibits law enforcement officers from impounding a vehicle for 30 days at a DUI checkpoint if the only offense is failing to hold a valid driver license.

 New Laws Already Enforced (2011)

California Male Circumcision Law

Local governments, such as cities and counties, can no longer ban infant male circumcision.  Law effective immediately.  Read "California Circumcision Law."

California Data Breach Notification Law

When consumer data has been breached, the holder of the data must notify the affected consumers of the occurrence in order to halt identity theft.  Read "California Data Breach Notification Law".

California Presidential Primary Law

The presidential primary has officially been moved from February back to June.  Read "California Presidential Primary June 5, 2012".

California National Popular Vote Law

All of California's 55 electoral votes will ultimately go to the winner of the popular vote in U.S. presidential elections.  Read "California National Popular Vote Law".

Mandatory DMV Organ Donation Answer

The State of California now requires all driver's license and ID applicants to answer YES or NO to whether they want their organs donated.  Read "CA Law Forces DMV Organ Donation Answer".

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