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Happy New Year, California! State Welcomes 873 New Laws

Gov. Jerry Brown signed nearly 1,000 bills into law in 2012; there's 873 new laws for 2013.

Job-hunters no longer need to worry about sanitizing their Facebook pages before applying for work, thanks to two new laws that will go in effect on Tuesday.

The social media privacy laws protect job-seekers and prospective students from sharing social media user names and password during the application process.

Those laws are among the 873 regular session bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 2012; many will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Discrimination

  • Eliminating on-the-job discrimination is the focus of two new laws. One expands the definition of "sex" under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include breastfeeding. The other clarifies that the state's discrimination laws make reasonable accommodations for religious dress and grooming practices.
  • AB 2370 replaces "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability."

'Good Samaritan' Overdose Prevention Law

This law encourages people to call 9-1-1 and seek medical help for someone experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose without fear of being prosecuted for minor drug crimes.

"Reassuring all Californians that calling 9-1-1 is safe and the right thing to do when someone’s life is on the line is essential," Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said.

She also pointed out that this isn't a get-of-jail-free card. Drug dealers and motorists driving under the influence would still face legal ramifications.

Banning Therapies to 'Cure' Gay Minors

The law states therapists can't provide minors with therapy intended to change their sexual orientation. California is the first in the nation to prohibit such practices.

This includes former State Senator Joseph Simitian sponsored SB 1303 , establishes statewide standards for traffic enforcement cameras, and makes it easier to challenge unjustified tickets.

Healthcare

  • Senate Bill 1538 will require that following a mammogram, women be informed if they have dense breast tissue; that dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of a mammogram; that it is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer; that information about breast density is given to discuss with their doctor; and that a range of screening options are available. (Becomes law April 1, 2013.)
  • This bill continues to allow voluntary contributions to two popular cancer research tax check-off funds. Senate Bill 1359 extends the voluntary contribution check-offs on state tax forms for the California Breast Cancer Research Program and the California Cancer Research Fund for five years. Without SB 1359, these popular check-offs would have expired on January 1, 2013. (Becomes law on January 1, 2013.)

Proposition 30

State sales tax increases a quarter-cent Jan. 1, a voter-approved measure that will fund public safety and education. The law also ups income taxes for those who make more than $250,000 of taxable income annually.

Look up all of the new laws in this state database.



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