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California Laws for 2014

2014 brings new laws to California

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    From Guns to Transgender rights, California has some interesting laws taking effect in the new year!
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    PAPARAZZI REFORM:
    Paparazzi photographers who harass and intimidate celebrities and their children will face stiffer penalties under a new law passed in 2013: a fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in county jail. Victims can also sue for damages and attorney's fees. (Source AP-Associated Press)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    MORE ROOM FOR BICYCLISTS:
    This law prohibits motorists from passing a bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect September 16, 2014. (Source: CHP News)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    GUN PURCHASE REPORTING:
    Passed in 2011, AB 809 allows the Department of Justice to retain data about rifle and shotgun purchases; until now, the agency has been able to hold onto information only about handgun transactions. The law is intended to let cops know what they’ll be up against and to bolster a program that confiscates guns from people barred from owning them, such as the dangerously mentally ill and convicted criminals.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    PARKING:
    Drivers will soon be able to park for free at meters that do not work. A new law taking effect in 2014 prohibits cities from ticketing motorists for parking at a broken meter.
    (Source:KTLA-Tracy Bloom)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    PLASTIC BAG BAN:
    Shoppers in the city of Los Angeles will have to bring their own reusable bags or fork up 10 cents per sack at large retail stores, starting Jan. 1, 2014. Smaller stores have until July 1, 2014, to phase out single-use plastic bags.
    (Source: NBC 4-Samantha Tata)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    TEEN DRIVERS:
    This law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device. (Source: CHP News)
    Photo: Getty Images
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    FAMILY LEAVE:
    The state is also expanding family leave time. Currently, anyone who has a new baby, or who has to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner or parent is eligible for family leave. Starting New Year’s Day, however, the program will be expanded to cover grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws and siblings.
    (Source:KTLA-Tracy Bloom)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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    PLUMBING PREROGATIVE:
    Going into effect a few years after it was passed, 2009’s SB 407 requires homeowners doing renovations to homes built before 1994 to install water-efficient toilets and faucets.
    (Source: NBC 4-Samantha Tata)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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    ON-CAMPUS SMOKING:
    All 10 University of California campuses will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1, 2014. The ban includes all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
    (Source: The Desert Review)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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    TRANSGENDER RIGHTS:
    Students in grades K-12 who identify as transgender will be allowed to use school bathrooms and play on sport teams “consistent with their gender identity,” starting Jan. 1, 2014.
    (Source: NBC 4-Samantha Tata)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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    MINIMUM WAGE HIKE:
    Workers earning minimum wage will net $9 an hour starting July 1, 2014. The increase is part of a three-year plan that will raise the hourly minimum wage in California to $10 by 2016.
    (Source: NBC 4-Samantha Tata)
    Photo:Getty Images
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    HYDRAULIC FRACTURING:
    SB 4 seeks to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a gas-harvesting practice that involves blasting a mix of pressurized water and chemicals underground. Rules taking effect at the start of 2014 mandate groundwater monitoring, require neighbors to be notified of new wells and have energy companies publicly disclose the fracking chemicals they use.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee)
    Photo:Getty Images
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    HOV LANES:
    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. (Source: CHP News)
    Photo:Getty Images
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    IMMIGRANT DRIVER'S LICENSES:
    AB 60 accomplishes something immigrant advocates have sought for years – driver’s licenses for immigrants who are in the country illegally. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will spend this year designing the licenses, which will become available by Jan. 1, 2015.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee)
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    DISTILLERY TASTINGS:
    Smaller craft distilleries will now have more of an incentive to offer liquor tasting events: starting in 2014, AB 933 allows them to charge for the privilege of sampling their product.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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    MATTRESS RECYCLING:
    SB 254 creates a mattress recycling program, funded by a fee on buying mattresses (one Republican opponent dubbed it a “sleep tax”). An industry group must convene and build the program by July 1, 2015.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee)
    Photo:AFP/Getty Images
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