New Year, New Laws, What You Should Know


Jan 1, 2016 (San Diego) Last year was a very fruitful year for Legislatures in Sacramento. Some of the laws that they passed do not directly affect you, unless of course if you were ever hopping to serve in a grand jury after an officer involved shooting. But some do, and have major effects on all Californians.

The minimum wage goes up to $10 dollars an hour statewide as of today. This slow raise statewide started in 2014 when the minimum went up from $8 dollars to $9 dollars. It was already higher than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25

Then there are vaccines. Last year we started with measles outbreaks out of Disneyland, and that led legislatures to pass a new law that gets rid of faith or moral exceptions. This means that in September children attending public or private schools will need proof of vaccination, or if they qualify for a medical exception, of such. Medical exceptions are few and far between. So parents who chose not to vaccinate will be able to home school.

In February the Charles B Reed, Chancellor of the California State University System, signed an executive order that is in line with the law, All students will be required to show proof of vaccination, if born after 1957.Thoguh the EO does include belief exceptions, or for students enrolled in distant learning.


The UC system will require mandatory vaccination starting in 2017. Though it will be phased in starting in the fall of 2016.

It is clear that the educational system from Pre K to college will be aligned and parents need to take that into consideration.

Gun Laws are interesting in the state. California is known to have strickt laws, and one will permit officers, or relatives, to take weapons away from people who are deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others for up to 21 days. This is controversial for some but gives some power to prevent tragedies according to lawmakers this is the objective.

The second law is that concealed carry will not be allowed in any college or university in the State. For that matter in any K-12 institution.

As far as privacy, while it makes sense, law enforcement now is required to obtain a warrant before they can obtain emails, texts, browsing history or other digital data.

There are a slew of new laws also affecting schools.

One is meant to counter some myths about sex. Schools will be required to teach what consensual sex between partners if they require health education to graduate. Moreover, sex education will not be voluntarily unless parents decide to opt out. The curriculum will enact an expansion into gender identity and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Traffic Laws

If you like to listen to your music, or calls while driving using ear buds… stop. As of today this is illegal. No, your ear buds that came with your IPhone are no longer legal to use as a hands free device if you put them in both ears. This also targets headsets.

The only exception are hearing protection used by operators of emergency vehicles, construction equipment or sanitation. Suffice it to say, those headsets are quite specialized and designed for that use.

Did you get a Hoverboard this year? Well, you will not be able to operate it unless you are 16 years old or older on a public road, wear a helmet and travel at 35 miles per hour or less. Oh and remember that safety vest so people can see you at night.

Our brew bikes downtown are now considered pedicabs and cannot go faster than 15 Mph

Yellow and Silver Alerts:

The Yellow Alert will be issued for hit and run accidents where serious injury or death occur. Much like the Amber alert they will use the signs you see in the highway. Silver alerts, meant for senior citizens, will use the highway signage when a vehicle is involved.

Oh and lastly, if you ride a bicycle, and you are slowing traffic, you are now required to pull over to the next available lane.


The New voter Motor bill cones into effect this morning. Whenever you get a new drivers license at the DMV you will be automatically added ot the voting rolls if eligible. The law states that they will have year to fully implement it as soon as these conditions are met:

  1. The state has a statewide voter registration database that complies with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Section 20901 et seq.).
  2. The Legislature has appropriated the funds necessary for the Secretary of State and DMV to implement and maintain the program.
  3. The Secretary of State has adopted regulations to implement the law.

So sadly this will not be fully implemented for the 2016 cycle, Meaning, if you get a new drivers license and you need to register to vote, get a form at the post office.






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2 replies

  1. One correction on the DMV laws on earbuds-

    You can use “one” earbud but not both while operating a bike, car, or other moving vehicle. So hands-free operation using “one” phone earbud is still permitted.

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