MERCED, CA – One of the new laws is the vehicle registration fee increase part of SB 1, drivers will pay between $25 and $175 more for vehicle registration to DMV. The fee, which goes into effect January 1st, is based on the vehicle’s current value, as follows, Vehicles worth between $0 and $4,999 is a $25 fee increase, Vehicles worth between $5,000 and $24,999 is a $50 fee increase, Vehicles worth between $25,000 and $34,999 is a $100 fee increase, Vehicles worth between $35,000 and $59,999 is a $150 fee increase and Vehicles worth $60,000 and higher is a $175 fee increase.

Recreational Marijuana Use

Recreational-use marijuana, The sale and cultivation of recreational-use marijuana will be legal in California on January 1st. Marijuana use in vehicles also effective January 1st, drivers will be prohibited from smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

Minimum wage increase For the second year in a row under SB 3, the minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour beginning January 1st, for more than 2 million workers in California. However, Governor Jerry Brown can halt the increase if there is a negative job growth. Bars and ride-sharing beginning January 1st, AB 711 will allow alcohol companies and businesses to team up with ride shares, like Uber and Lyft, as well as taxi services, to give out vouchers or promo codes for discounted rides.

Sanctuary state of California SB 54 restricts the ability of state and local police in California to cooperate with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents. Beginning January 1st, law enforcement officers won’t be allowed to ask about someone’s immigration status or hold them for ICE agents, unless that person has been convicted of a crime.

Ammunition Sales

Ammunition sales beginning January 1st, ammunition purchases must be made in person through an authorized firearms and ammo vendor, as per Prop 63 which was approved by voters in November 2016. Ammunition buyers will be allowed for online sales of ammunition, but it must be shipped to a licensed vendor from whom the buyer can pick it up.

Gender identity on driver’s licenses SB 179 removes the requirement that people have to choose either male or female on their identification documents. Transgender people will be able to select “nonbinary” as an option if they do not identify as either male or female. This new choice will be available in the beginning of 2019. Guns banned at schools AB 424 eliminates a previous policy, implemented in 2016, that gave school administrators the ability to decide whether campus employees with concealed carry permits were allowed to bring their firearms to school. The new law bans firearms on campus altogether.

Buses and seat belts: Beginning July 1st, anyone riding in a bus is required by law to be properly restrained by seat belts, if the bus is equipped with them. SB 20 also prohibits adults from putting children between the ages of 8 and 16 on a bus unless they are properly restrained by a seat belt or “child passenger restraint system that meets federal safety standards. Violations of this law will be punishable by a fine. AB 830 permanently eliminates the high school exit exam as a condition of graduation.

AB 1127, diaper-changing stations will be a requirement in both women’s and men’s public bathrooms. This applies to new construction or restrooms that undergo significant renovations. AB 485 bans pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits unless they are rescue animals. The law aims to prevent California pet stores from selling animals bred in puppy mills and other mass-breeding operations.

Under AB 168, employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants about their salary history, compensation or benefits. Employers will also be required to disclose pay scales for a job if the applicants asks for them. As part of a nationwide push by Democrats to provide free higher education, AB 19 is the first step in that process, waiving the fee for first-time students who enroll full time in California community colleges.

SB 450 replaces neighborhood polling places with elections done mainly by mail. Every voter will receive a mail-in ballot, which they can then take to a drop-off location up to four weeks before Election Day. Under the previous law, drivers were prohibited from having tint or any other material or display that “reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows.” AB 1303 allows drivers with a medical condition certified by a dermatologist to tint their windshields, side and rear windows to protect them from ultraviolet rays.

Pedestrians who cross the street while the red hand signal is flashing will no longer be penalized for doing so. Under AB 390, if the flashing red hand symbol appears and there is a countdown to indicate how much time pedestrians have left to cross, walkers are legally permitted to do so.

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