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It’s a new year! And while you may be working hard to keep up with your New Year’s Resolutions, policymakers have also been hard at work and are now watching their new laws take effect this year. While these laws may not have any direct effect on you as an individual, many of them are major steps for the state and for our society. So here’s a look at some of the laws that came into effect January 1, 2019.

1. Minimum Age For Purchasing A Long Gun


Senate Bill No. 1100 prevents anyone under the age of 21 to purchase long guns. The law, however, does make exceptions for certain people, such as members of the military, law enforcement officers and people with a valid hunting license.

2. Breathalyzers In Cars


Per Senate Bill 1046, drivers who are found guilty of driving under the influence will have to install temporary breathalyzers in their cars. The breathalyzer must prove that they are not under the influence in order for the car to start. In order for drivers to get their driver’s licenses back, they must install these temporary devices.

3. Plastic Straws By Request


Assembly Bill 1884 bans plastic straws in restaurants. Restaurants are not to give out plastic straws unless they are specifically requested. Fast food restaurants, however, are exempted from this ban.

4. 3 Gender Options For California Driver's License


Senate Bill 179 allows people applying for identification in California (such as California ID or California driver’s license) to choose from 3 gender options: male, female or nonbinary.

5. Breastfeeding


Assembly Bill 1976 mandates that employers make efforts to provide a room for breastfeeding; the room cannot be a bathroom.

6. Minimum Wage


Senate Bill No. 3 raises state minimum wage so that businesses with 25 or fewer employees have an hourly minimum wage of $11, while businesses with more than 25 employees have a minimum wage of $12.

7. Public Access To Police Records In The Situation Of Force


Senate Bill 1421 targets police transparency by allowing public access to records in the instances of force. Lack of honesty in the workplace, as well as sexual misconduct, are also reasons for public access to police records.

8. Home Made Foods


Assembly Bill 626 allows the sale of home made foods.

9. Street Vendors


Senate Bill 946 allows street vendors to continue selling products. However, these street vendors are liable to the inspection of health and safety measures by state authorities.

10. Board Of Directors Equality


Senate Bill 826 requires that any corporation with executive offices in California must have a board of directors that consists of at least one woman. This must be complied with by December 31, 2019.

Even if you won't be personally affected by these changes in legislation, it is important to be familiar with the changes and the policies in our state. These new laws have come into effect on January 1, 2019 and they pave the way for a newer California. This is an exciting time of change for Californians and for the people of America. 

Kalysa was the 2020-21 Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent for the UCLA chapter of Her Campus. She was also previously a Senior Editor and Feature Writer for the chapter. On the rare occasion she's not busy studying for school or writing for Her Campus, you'll probably find her indulging in tiramisu or reading (and re-reading) her favorite novels. 
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