Vaccines, police cameras among new laws in California, Nevada for 2016 |

Vaccines, police cameras among new laws in California, Nevada for 2016

Compiled by Adam Jensen
Vaccines are now mandatory for most K-12 students in California.
Getty Images | iStockphoto

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — With the new year came a slew of new laws in both California and Nevada. Everything from vaccines to electric bikes to hemp got a look from legislators. Here are just a few of the new laws that came onto the books Jan. 1:


Minimum wage — California’s minimum wage rose from to $9 per hour to $10 per hour in 2016. Some exemptions include outside salespersons and family members of employers.

California Fair Pay Act — Prohibits employers from paying any of its employees at rates less than those paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work.

California Electronic Communications Privacy Act — This act prohibits a government entity from compelling the production of or access to electronic communication and devices without a search warrant, wiretap order or subpoena issued under specified conditions, except for emergency situations.

AB 1014, Gun Violence Restraining Orders — This law allows family members and law enforcement officers to seek a Gun Violence Restraining Order against people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Such an order would temporarily prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to temporarily remove any firearms or ammunition already in that person’s possession. It also details procedures for returning guns and ammunition to that person.

SB 277, Vaccines — Vaccines are now mandatory for all K-12 students, barring children who get a medical exemption for a serious ailment. This bill eliminated the exemption from existing immunization requirements based upon personal beliefs.

AB 208, Highway lane use — The law requiring slow-moving passenger vehicles to pull over safely to let traffic pass if five or more vehicles are backed up behind them has been amended to apply to all vehicles, including bicycles.

AB 1096, Electric bicycles — This law created three separate classes of electric bicycles. Classes 1 and 2 have a maximum speed of 20 mph. A Class 3 electric bicycle has a maximum speed of 28 mph. Operators of Class 3 bicycles must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet. The new law also sets up safety restrictions and regulates access on trails and paths.

AB 604, Electrically motorized skateboards — This law restricts the operation of electrically motorized boards operation on public facilities, makes it a crime to operate an electrically motorized board while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, limits a board’s operation to individuals 16 years or older, requires operators to wear safety equipment and limits their operation to roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

SB 491, Earbuds or headsets — This law makes it unlawful to wear headphones or earbuds while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, with certain exemptions for those operating emergency vehicles or construction or refuse equipment.

AB 53 Child safety seats — Children under 2 years of age must now ride in a rear-facing in a child passenger safety seat, unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. California law continues to require all children under the age of 8 be properly restrained in a child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

AB 643 and AB 8 — These bills created Yellow Alerts and Silver Alerts similar to Amber Alerts for abducted children. Yellow Alerts were established for hit and runs resulting in death or serious injuring. Silver Alerts are for vehicles suspected in missing person cases.

More details on new laws in California are available at


AB 483, Teacher performance pay — This law requires the board of trustees of each school district to reserve money sufficient to pay for performance-based pay increases for at least 5 percent of teachers and administrators within its district.

AB 162, Police body cameras — AB 162 authorizes certain law enforcement officers to wear video cameras while on duty and requires certain law enforcement agencies to adopt policies relating to the use of the recording devices. It also establishes any record made by such a device as a public record that may be requested on a per incident basis.

SB 288, Curbing prescription drug abuse — This law requires medical providers dispensing controlled substances to receive training on accessing a computerized program to track each prescription of a controlled substance.

SB 305, Hemp cultivation — SB 305 authorizes an institution of higher education or the State Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes, easing restrictions on the cannabis plant in the state.

SB 302, School funding — This law establishes a program by which a child who receives instruction from a private school rather than a public school may receive a grant of money in an amount equal to a certain percentage of the statewide average basic support per pupil.

More information new laws in Nevada is available at

Sources: California Legislative Information, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Motor Vehicles, Nevada Legislature, The Associated Press

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