Checking the books for 2005’s new laws |

Checking the books for 2005’s new laws

The California Legislature cranked out 1270 bills last year. Gov. Arnold vetoed 311. He signed 959. All in a day’s work for him.

The civil code now makes permanent the law requiring residential landlords to give a 60-day notice to tenants of rent increases exceeding 10 percent annually.

Sale of .50 caliber rifles is now banned in California for fear the weapons, capable of hitting hovering helicopters, could be used by terrorists.- Possession alone results in a misdemeanor.

It is now an infraction to use or knowingly allow the use of the 911 telephone system for purposes other than for an emergency. Parents are liable for their minor children’s improper use.-

Here’s an important new law. It is a misdemeanor to declaw exotic cats such as cougars, bobcats, lions and tigers thanks to Assemblyman Paul Koretz.-

Thanks to termed-out Senate Pro Tem John Burton (finally), a ban on the force-feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers for foie gras takes effect in 2012. I don’t think foie gras is on my South Beach Diet anyway.

Drivers must use headlights in weather that makes it difficult to see another person or car at 1,000 feet or when windshield wipers must be used. That’s right, as of July 1, your headlights must be on when your windshield wipers are in continuous use because of the weather. How about on intermittent cycle? The bill is not applicable to motorcycles. Be sure and send Assemblyman Joe Simitia a big thank you for that bill.

After an eight-year experiment with holding California’s primary election in March, to gain strategic relevance in presidential elections, California’s primary election will return to June. Probably a good move.-

A new law increases the time from seven years to 10 years during which a prior driving under-the-influence (DUI) conviction may increase the sanctions for a current conviction. A person convicted of a DUI will be warned that a subsequent offense may result in a charge of murder if a person is killed. Lots of DUI law changes enacted.

Electronic voting systems approved for use in California must include paper printout so voters can check the accuracy of their votes.

Women convicted of killing or attempting to kill their abusers or of committing a felony against their abuser before August 1996 can ask the court for reconsideration if they show battered-women syndrome played a part of the crime. Battered women syndrome now includes “intimate partner battering.”

Cities, counties and special districts may not discriminate against girls and funding athletic programs such as softball leagues.

Drivers of motorized skateboard-like scooters now must have a license, be over 16 and wear a helmet.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter – Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno.- He is a mediator and was the governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson and the California Fair Political Practices commissions. Reach him at or

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