If hindsight is 20/20, then surely it’s even better to know what’s coming in advance, right? We certainly think so, but we’re a bit biased. For us this is the most wonderful time of the year, and not just for all the same reasons as everyone else (though there are those too), but because with the new year comes NEW LAWS! Don’t deny it. You totally had AB-32 on your wish list this year.
So which laws come into effect on January 1st? Here’s a sampler:
SB-8: State Park Smoking Ban
Smokers take heed, because this one affects you. In a law change that’s sure to be divisive, come January 1st if you light up at a state park beach or anywhere within the California state system you might face a fine of up to $25. It’s not just smokers of cigarettes who are subject to the ban, but also cigars, marijuana, and vaping devices as well. So if you’re heading to the beach for a day of fun in the sun, leave those e-cigarettes at home.
SB-313: No More Animals At The Circus
Did anyone really not see this one coming? The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tore down its big top for the last time in 2017, in large part due to declining ticket sales following its decision to retire its elephants. With other circus large productions managing to put on shows that don’t involve animals, including the fabulously popular Cirque du Soleil, the move towards a wider ban of all exotic animals seemed likely. Going forward the only animals that will be allowed in a circus in the state of California are domestic dog, domestic cat, or a domesticated horse.
AB 1266, Rivas: Traffic Control Changes for Cyclists
According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol, “This new law allows bicycles to travel straight through a right or left-hand turn-only lane while at an intersection, if an official traffic control device indicates the movement is permitted.”
SB-1127: Medical Marijuana on School Grounds
In a big win for parents of children who suffer from severe medical conditions, the ban on the possession of marijuana within 1000 feet of school grounds has been lifted. Dubbed Jojo’s Act, this compassionate law will leave the decision of whether or not to allow medical marijuana on campus up to the schools themselves. Medical marijuana for children is not smokable, and does not provide a high. For many it’s a life-changing medication often in the form of CDB droplets or tinctures. Children who suffer from life-threatening seizures, for example, will now be allowed to bring medicinal marijuana with them to school with a recommendation from a doctor. The marijuana cannot be stored on campus.
AB-32: Private Prisons Contracts Won’t Be Renewed
Private prison and immigration systems are a blight on California, and thanks to a new law that goes into effect on January 1st, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will no longer be able to enter into, extend, or renew a contract with a private, for-profit prison company. The goal is that private prison will be phased out completely by 2028.
SB-354: DACA Recipients Now Eligible for Graduate Degree Loans
This new law will enable Dreamers who wish to attend a graduate program at a public university in California to receive in-state tuition through the state’s student loan program. Happy learning!
Though we wish we could share more, these were just a few of the 870 bills that were signed into law this year by Gavin Newsom. That would be a pretty long blog post, wouldn’t it?
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Gavin Newsom just signed 870 bills into law. Here are the important ones you missed.” SFGate. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
“CHP Highlights New California Laws Going Into Effect in 2020.” KTLA. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
“Newsom signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors.” The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
“11 New CA Laws That May Impact Your Life In 2020.” Patch Media. Retrieved 29 December 2019.