Jim Porter: Sampling of California’s new laws for the new year | SierraSun.com

Jim Porter: Sampling of California’s new laws for the new year

Jim Porter
Special to the Sun

I'm back and a little shaky following shoulder surgery, but here we go. The California Legislature once again did what it does best: Pass new laws, hoping Governor Jerry doesn't veto.

$10.00 an Hour

Minimum wage workers in California must be paid at least $10.00 an hour as of January 1st through legislation signed by the Good Governor in 2013.

There have been lots of arguments back and forth on the merits of increasing the minimum wage, but it makes sense to me.

Silver/Yellow Alerts

Joining Amber and Blue Alerts, we now have Silver Alerts broadcast on California highway signs when missing and at-risk senior citizens may be driving (my license is DONNER if you see me).

Recommended Stories For You

Yellow Alerts will start as of this month for vehicle hit-and-run incidents resulting in death or serious injury – all part of the freeway Changeable Message Signs program.

No Earbuds or Headsets

Per SB 491, it is now unlawful to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, subject to a few obvious exceptions like emergency vehicles and construction equipment. (The use of the word "earbuds" is new.)

Search Warrants for Cell Phones

A search warrant is now required for law enforcement to access private electronic communications such as e-mails, text messages and GPS data whether on the Cloud, smart phones, tablets, laptops or other digital devices – subject to exceptions in the event of emergencies and other public safety needs.

Toy Guns

This new bill requires replica guns to be distinguished from real weapons by painting the entire exterior in bright colors or having florescent strips.

Of course, this is to help prevent shootings of persons brandishing toy guns. When I was a youngster, just a few years ago, I proudly sported double-holstered silver pistols.

Those days are over. BB and pellet guns are subject to the new law unless they meet specified coloration requirements.

NRA: This must be a violation of our Second Amendment rights!

No Concealed Weapons on Campus

SB 707 prohibits concealed firearms on college and K-12 school campuses.

'Yes Means Yes'

Under SB 695, students in high school health education classes will be taught about consent, learning the importance of consensual sexual acts, or as it is sometimes called "Yes means yes."

As the father of two daughters, I say good idea.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee, Tahoe City and Reno. Jim's practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOAs, contracts, personal injury, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or http://www.portersimon.com.