Here are a few of the notable measures that go into effect on Jan. 1, unless noted otherwise.
- Minimum wage. Assembly Bill 10 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, increases the California minimum wage to $9 an hour effective July 1. Locally, the minimum wage in San Jose and San Francisco will increase to $10.15 per hour and $10.74 per hour respectively effective Jan. 1.
- Emergency Amber Alert. Assembly Bill 535 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, amends the statewide Amber Alert emergency system by requiring authorities to send an alert after receiving a report that a child has been abducted by anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious injury or death to the child.
- State disability insurance. Senate Bill 770 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, expands paid family leave by allowing employees to receive up to six weeks of state disability insurance to care for an ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to build a relationship with an adopted or foster child.
- Bicycle safety. Assembly Bill 1371 by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, will require motorists to stay at least 3 feet away from bicyclists when passing them on a public roadway. The measure, also known as the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” will go into effect Sept. 16.
- Distracted driving. Senate Bill 194 by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, will make it illegal for drivers younger than 18 to use any kind of electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read an electronic text while driving, even if the item is equipped with a hands-free device.
- Pupil rights. Assembly Bill 1266 by Sen. Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will prohibit California public schools from discriminating on the basis of gender, gender identity and gender expression. Students may choose which bathrooms they use and which sex-segregated programs and activities they want to participate in regardless of the gender listed on the student’s records.
High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (AB 266 / SB 286, Yee / Blumenfield): Together these laws extend sunset dates for low emission, zero emission vehicles to operate in high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) without meeting occupancy requirements to January 1, 2019.
Hit and Run: Statute of Limitations (AB 184, Gatto): This law extends the statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result. A criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense.Registration Fees: Vehicle Theft (AB 767, Levine): This law authorizes counties to increase registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.
Search Warrants: Chemical Tests (SB 717, DeSaulnier): This amendment to current law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable, medically approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test. This law has been operative since Sept. 20.