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Californias New Laws for 2019


  1. California restaurants that offer kids meals will be required to offer water or milk as the default drink option. The bill does not ban sugary drinks for children, but is meant to help families make healthier choices.

  2. Lifetime firearms ban for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. The legislation expands on an existing law which applies to people with felony convictions.

  3. In an effort to increase transparency in law enforcement, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1421, which allows public access to internal investigations of police shootings and other use of force cases, as well as records involving sexual assault by an officer.

  4. Measure AB 748 doesn’t take effect until July. It will require body camera footage of police shootings and use of force cases to be released within 45 days, unless it would interfere with the investigation.

  5. SB 1300 closes a loophole that allowed employers to avoid sexual harassment and discrimination laws by requiring workers to sign releases of liability as a condition of employment or in exchange for a bonus.

  6. SB 820 bans so-called “secret settlements” and non-disclosure agreements involving employees in sexual misconduct cases. Under the law, the identity of the accused would be made public. The victim can choose to remain anonymous.

  7. Starting January 1st, full-service restaurants can only give out plastic straws when a customer requests them. Businesses that violate the new law could be fined up to $300. The law will not apply to fast food restaurants.

  8. Gender identity laws – The law allows people applying for a California drivers license or ID card to self-certify their chosen gender category of male, female or non-binary. Applicants who choose non-binary will receive an X in the gender category.

  9. Motorized Scooters – This law no longer requires helmets for riders who are at least 18-years-old on motorized scooters. It also prohibits people from operating the scooters on a highway with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour unless within a class IV or class II bikeway.

  10. Smog check changes and new abatement fees - The law expands smog check exemptions to vehicles that are up to eight model years old. During the additional two years, the vehicles will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee.

  11. Temporary license plate program – The law requires dealers to attach a temporary paper license plate on a vehicle at the time of sale unless the vehicle has a previously-issued license plate. The intent of the new law is to reduce the number of toll violations.

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