Each year, hundreds of laws get enacted. In 2015 alone, there are 930 new laws that went into effect.
These laws will affect the lives of Californians from birth to the grave. Here are the top-10 new laws that will have the most impact in the new year.
Starting on Jan. 1, eggs sold in California will have to come from hens who have a bit more room to move in their cages. As a result of the Proposition 2 passed by more than 60 percent of Californians in 2006, all eggs sold in California, regardless of which region it came from must be laid by chickens that have enough room to fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.
The result of this is that egg prices will increase because the increased costs for farmers. Though, most economists think the increase will be minimal because California is a huge consumer’s market.
2. Driver’s License
California is now the 10th state to offer unauthorized immigrants driver’s licenses. Immigrants advocates say this will make California roads safer because it ensures that all drivers know the rules of the road and have proper insurance.
Law experts, however, warn that some unauthorized immigrants should consult a lawyer before applying for a license if they have previously obtain one under fraudulent means, such as a falsify social security number or other documents, according to the Associated Press.
3. Cleaner-Burning Gasoline
The gas in your car’s tank will have to burn cleaner now under the Cap-and-Trade Program signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The program requires fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supplying low-carbon fuels or purchasing pollution permits to cover the greenhouse gases produced when the conventional petroleum-based fuel they supply is burned.
This could increase the prices at the pumps, though, with the world’s oil prices continue to be at historic lows, most Californians will probably not see any noticeable increases in the near future.
Friday’s gasoline price increased by four-tenths of a cent, but it is still $1.068 below what it was one year ago.
4. Yes Means Yes
California becomes the first in the nation to enact a law that goes beyond “No means No.” Under the new law, consent is only given when both partners say yes.
The law only applies to colleges and universities that receive financial funding from the state and does not have bearing on criminal proceedings.
Victim’s rights advocates applaud the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, but critics say the law places too much burden on the accused.
5. Small-Business Insurance.
Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to require a waiting period before issuing insurance to new employees of small businesses. Historically, insurance companies require a waiting period to weed out people who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer deny people insurance based on pre-existing health conditions so the financial reason for a waiting period is obsolete. Employers, however, can still impose a waiting period for new hires.
6. Revenge Porn
It will be a lot harder, and costlier, for disgruntled exes to post intimate pictures on the Internet. The new revenge porn law includes naked selfies and allows for victims to get a court order to have explicit pictures removed from the Internet.
In July, another law allows for victims to sue for monetary damages in court under an assumed name.
7. Willful Defiance
Minority students are more likely to be harshly punished for behaviors such as talking back or violating dress codes, according to former State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. The new law, Dickinson’s brain child, will ban suspensions as a mean of punishment for willful defiance offenses for students in kindergarten to third grade.
The law is meant to keep kids in school, Dickinson said. Suspended kids are twice as likely to drop out, according to Dickinson. Critics argue that disruptive children make it harder for others to learn.
8. Mug Shot
People who have been arrested no longer have to worry about their mug shots being held hostage by shady websites. California made it illegal for websites to charge people money to have their embarrassing photos removed.
Most of the people who were arrested were never charged with a crime. Web sites could face up to $1,000 fine for each violation.
9. From Birth to Death
California birth certificates will now have a third option after mother and father — parent. The third option allow same-sex couples identify themselves with the gender-neutral option of parent.
California’s laws already allow for more than two parents.
Another law will allow for transgender person to die as they lived. Coroners will now be required to list the preferred gender rather than the anatomical sex on death certificates.
10. Sick Leave
Starting in July, all Calfornians who work at least 30 hours a week will be able to have at least three paid sick leaves a year. The law is the brain child of San Diego lawmaker Lorena Gonzales.
Workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. California is only the second state to offer guaranteed sick leave.