A new year means the start of several new laws for the state of California. A few of these laws are highlighted below.
- Children younger than two must sit in rear facing car seats.
Drivers are no longer allowed to use their cell phones while driving, unless they're using a hands-free device, or voice-operated commands. The new law also calls for phones to be mounted to the windshield or a dashboard for drivers planning to use them on the road.
- Those convicted of driving under the influence must install a device in their cars that would ensure they are sober before they can start the ignition.
- Bathrooms in public buildings with a single toilet must be designated as all gender, open to anyone. This law will take effect March 1.
- Smoking or use of electronic cigarettes within 250 feet of any Little League baseball game or other youth sports event is now illegal.
- Beauty salons and barbershops can now offer patrons a free beer or glass of wine.
- Patients who go to their insurance's in-network hospital, lab or other health facility will not face surprise, larger charges if the doctor or health worker treating them is not in the network.
- California businesses and public agencies are authorized to have on hand medicine designed to combat severe emergency allergic reactions.
- Want to save an animal trapped in a car in heat or cold? As long as you call authorities first, you won't be held legally liable for breaking into the car.
- Voters can now legally take a selfie with their completed ballot.
- Voters are permitted to legally hand off their sealed ballot to anyone to mail or deliver in person.
- People will no longer be able to buy semi-automatic rifles that have a bullet button allowing removal of the ammunition magazine, commonly used in mass shootings. Those that have such weapons will have to register them with the state.
- At companies with 26 or more employees, the minimum wage will increase from $10 an hour to $10.50.