Jim Porter: More new laws in California
Special to the Sun
If you weren’t bored to death with last week’s “New Laws” column, try these, from the Golden State.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ON TRAINS
In a bill potentially helpful for Truckee, railroads must provide more information about hazardous cargo including crude oil train shipments to the Office of Emergency Services — includes a call center for the public to obtain information. Probably of no real benefit.
California passed a series of bills regulating groundwater for the first time in the State’s history to ensure water sustainability – to be highlighted in a dedicated column in the future. Guaranteed to cure your insomnia.
VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS
In an important change in voting laws, any vote by mail ballot is timely cast if it is received by the election’s office no later than 3 days after Election Day and the ballot is postmarked by election day. And you thought election results were late in the last election!
CELLPHONE KILL SWITCHES
Smartphones manufactured after July 1 and sold in California must come pre-equipped with anti-theft technology that allows the cell phone owner to render the phone inoperable if stolen or lost.
Consumers may opt out if they choose. (Why would you opt out?)
In a nod to Mark Twain and his story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” California now has its own official state amphibian: the California Red-Legged Frog which is on the federal “threatened” species list. Frog’s legs anyone?
FARM TO FORK
A new California Farm to Fork Office will be created to promote access to food and make more agricultural products available to schools and underserved communities.
Landlords may not prevent residents of condominiums and apartments from growing their own fruits and vegetables in portable containers. Not a bad idea.
In response to police officer shootings of minors brandishing toy guns (why would anyone brandish a toy gun), manufacturers must now make toy guns brightly colored so they may be distinguished from real firearms. My matching Roy Rogers silver-colored pistols just went up in value.
Juveniles convicted of crimes will have their records automatically sealed if they complete all court-imposed orders.
DRUGGED SEXUAL ASSAULTS
Under what is known as “Audrie’s Law” teens will face increased penalties and receive fewer privacy protections if convicted of sex acts on someone who is passed out from drugs or alcohol or incapable of giving consent.
Audrie Pott committed suicide days after she was sexually assaulted while unconscious while her attackers were given a few days in juvenile detention.
UNPAID SICK LEAVE
Millions of California retail, fast food and other service industry workers will begin earning paid sick leave under a law that takes effect on July 1.
The law will allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
Under AB 1965, restaurants may now allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas provided certain rules of health, safety and good behavior are met.
Municipalities may prohibit doggie dining. Our local Town and Counties would never do that.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.portersimon.com.
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