As of July 1, there are several new laws taking effect in California. The laws are going to affect some pretty important things, including gas prices, background checks, and ammunition. Below are a few that are likely to affect the most people throughout the state.
SB 1001 – Bot Disclosure
Have you ever been answered your phone and thought you were speaking with an actual person on the other end, only to find out later you were dealing with a machine? If so, you’ll be glad to know that SB 1001 mandates that companies will now have to disclose whether you’re dealing with an automated system (known as a “bot”) either by telephone, website, or social network. The point of the law is to reduce the ability of companies to trick people into buying products or services, or to influence their voting practices.
SB 1 – Gas Tax Increase
We’re used to gas prices going up in the Summer time. As a matter of fact, Southern California typically sees some of the most expensive gas prices in the country this time of year. Now, as of July 1st, the gas tax is going up a whole 6 cents (making the tax a grand total of 60 cents per gallon). The rise in tax prices comes as a result of voters last year rejecting a repeal of the gas tax increase. It’s expected to generate upwards of $54 billion dollars over the next decade.
AB 748 – Police Body Cameras
Body cameras have been a controversial issue since it was determined that police officers and sheriff’s deputies were required to wear them. Sometimes the footage is available to the public, sometimes it wasn’t. Now, thanks to AB 748, police departments in California are required to release audio and video recordings within 45 days of an incident occurring that involves police. The law only applies to incidents involving a police officer firing their weapon or is involved in the use of force where someone is seriously injured or killed.
Proposition 63 – Background Checks
Whenever someone wants to buy ammunition, they are now required to undergo an instant background check that looks for felonies on their record. Each instant background check will cost $1 that the would-be ammunition consumer will have to pay. However, the law does not limit the amount of ammunition one is able to buy.
AB 1973 – Marijuana Convictions
This one has been a long time coming for many an advocate of prison reform. AB 1973 gives the Department of Justice until July 1, 2019 to review people’s criminal records and identify past marijuana convictions that would have been legal today under Proposition 64, California’s new legal recreational marijuana law. In San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties alone, more than 63,000 marijuana convictions have been expunged thus far.
SB 1448 – Doctor Disclosure
How well do you know your doctor? Under SB 1448, doctors (including physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and surgeons) are now legally required to disclose to patients before beginning treatment if they (the doctor) has been placed on probation for for certain violations, including gross negligence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, or inappropriately prescribing medications. When placed on probation, providers can continue to practice under restricted licensure.
AB 406 – For-Profit Charter Schools
For-profit charter schools are now banned in California. There were never many for-profit charter schools in California, with the recent tally being only 34 throughout the state.
AB 1871 – School Lunches
Charter schools that are not operating on a for-profit basis, the only legal type of charter school in California, must now provide students from low-income families one free or reduced-price meal per day. This means that an estimated 340,000 low-income students will now have greater access to meals at school.