(With the new year come new laws)….The Governor and the legislature produced about 800 new laws for 2014.
Some, however, are postdated. Among the new laws; Teenaged motorists under the age of 18 will not be allowed to text and drive, even if they are using hands free, voice command devices; Motorists must leave three feet of space when passing bicyclists. This law begins September 16th; The Department of Motor Vehicles has until the end of the year to adopt regulations allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a California Drivers License; Local authorities can no longer turn illegal immigrants over to federal authorities for deportation if they are suspected of minor crimes; Employers could be fined up to $10,000 and lose their business license if they report or threaten to report the non-legal status of a worker who has filed a complaint over unsafe conditions or sexual harassment; Those without legal status may practice law, under certain conditions; Mountain Lions can only be trapped using non-lethal methods, unless the animal poses an immediate threat to humans; Students in grades K-12 who identify as Transgender will be allowed to use school bathrooms and play on sports teams consistent with their gender identity; The state minimum wage goes up to $9.00 per hour on July 1. It will increase to $10.00 an hour by 2016; All 10 University of California Campuses are now smoke free. That includes all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes; Tips automatically added to a restaurant bill will now be taxed as regular income; and a driver suspected of DUI, who refuses to submit to or fails to complete a blood test, can be served a search warrant to draw blood in a reasonable, medically approved manner. This law has been in effect since September.