Each year brings hundreds of new laws to Californians, and 2017 is no exception.
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Here are just 10 laws that will go into effect Sunday that you should know about.
1. Cell phones and driving
It will be illegal to hold and use any electronic devices including smart phones while driving. Drivers who want to use their smart phones must have it mounted on the dash and cannot use their hands. Any drivers caught breaking the law will see a fine of $20.
2. Car seats
Children younger than two years old will be required to sit in rear-facing car seats unless he or she weighs more than 40 pounds or 40 inches tall. That’s a change from the law that only required children under the age of eight to sit in a car seat or booster seat.
3. Higher wages
Minimum wage workers will see a slight increase in their paychecks beginning in 2017. The state’s minimum wage will increase from $10 to $10.50 per hour. By 2022, the minimum wage will go up to $15 per hour.
4. Right to try
Starting Sunday, patients who are terminally ill will have the right to use experimental drugs. The law will also protect physicians from disciplinary action if they recommend any experimental drugs to their patients.
5. Tougher gun laws
Buyers will soon have to go through a background check before purchasing ammunition. On top of that, gun owners who have magazines that hold more than 10 rounds will be required to surrender them to a law enforcement agency.
6. Sexual assaults
The controversial sentencing of former Stanford University student Brock Turner, who received a six-month jail sentence, prompted lawmakers to create a new law related to sexual assaults. Anyone who is found to sexually assault an unconscious person will not be eligible for probation.
Restrooms in California are going gender-neutral. A new law will require all single-toilet, public bathrooms to be gender neutral.
8. Protecting renters
Property owners will be prohibited from renting or showing any vacant homes or apartments they know to have a bug infestation.
9. Serving homeless students
Any students who are homeless will be able to use shower facilities at California’s community colleges under Assembly Bill 1995.
10. Rental cars
Beginning in 2017, rental car companies will be prohibited from loaning or renting any cars that are under a manufacturer’s recall.
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