Politics, government and public life for Southern California

On list of the nation's 'most interesting' laws for 2013, California has 27

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Of the 81 state laws highlighted on its annual list of the nation's most interesting laws that take effect on New Year's Day, the National Conference of State Legislatures included 27 passed by the California state legislature.

The 27 laws listed by the NCSL and highlighted below represent just a small portion of the more than 900 bills signed into law in 2012 by Gov. Jerry Brown and those new in 2013.

Use of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats Animals, Agriculture and Wildlife

  • California SB 1221 prohibits use of a dog pursue a bear or bobcat.
  • California SB 935 prohibits use of a vehicle or watercraft if aquatic plants or animals are attached to the exterior.

Amends Labor Code relating to employment Children and Families

  • California AB 2396 requires film producers to obtain permission from a board-certified pediatrician before filming a child under the age of one month.
  • California SB 1140 states clergy members whom object do not have to perform same-sex marriages.

Amends Welfare and Institutions Code relating to juveniles Corrections and Judiciary

  • California AB 1956 extends state tattoo removal program to those who have tattoos used for identification in trafficking or prostitution.
  • California AB 2078 prohibits prison workers and law enforcement officers from having sex with those housed in a correctional facility, including prisoners who are being transported to jail.
  • California AB 2386 adds breastfeeding as a category of sexual discrimination in housing and employment.
  • California AB 2464 requires professional sports facilities to post emergency numbers for patrons to call or text to report acts of violence.
  • California AB 472 make it's no longer a crime to possess illicit drugs if you are seeking assistance for yourself or someone else who has suffered an overdose.
  • California AB1964 adds an employee's religious dress or grooming practice as protected against religious discrimination.
  • California SB 661 prohibits picketing a funeral one hour before and one hour after the service.
  • California SB 9 allows offenders who were under 18 years of age when they committed an offense for which they were sentenced to life in prison without parole to petition the court for resentencing.

Adds to Education Code, relating to postsecondary education Education

  • California SB 1525 enacts a Student Athletes Bill of Rights, which among other things, allows intercollegiate athletic programs in the state to collect revenue from media rights.
  • California SB 993 allows schools to teach junior and senior high school students about the Bracero Program.

Adds to Labor Code relating to employment Employment

  • California AB 1844 prohibits employers from requiring applicants or employees to disclose social media passwords.

Adds to Labor Code relating to employment Environment

  • California AB 2230 requires in-car or conveyor-driven car washes to recycle at least 60-percent of their wash or rinse water.
  • California SB 1076 requires tire pressure gauges to meet specified requirements.

Amend Government Code, relating to imitation firearms Gun Control

  • California SB 1315 allows Los Angeles to have more restrictive laws regulating the manufacturing of toy guns.

Amends and adds to Family Code relating to surrogacy agreements Health

  • California AB 1217 states that surrogate mothers and the intended parent or parents are to be represented by separate independent counsel before executing an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers.
  • California AB 1621 exempts medical personnel working a trauma case from informing patients of prostate conditions detected during examination.
  • California SB 1171 prohibits mental health providers from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation of patients under the age of 18.
  • California SB 255 requires health plans to cover services related to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • California SB 628 deems it unprofessional conduct for an acupuncturist to use the title of "Doctor" or the abbreviation "Dr." in connection with the practice of acupuncture.

Amends several current laws relating to public employees' retirement Pensions

Amends Vehicle Code relating to vehicles Transportation

  • California AB 1266 states that passengers in off-road vehicles are no longer required to keep both feet flat on the floorboard.
  • California AB 1536 allows drivers to text while driving if the driver is using a voice-operated, hands-free device.
  • California AB 1890 prohibits driving with any object or material that obstructs the driver's clear view through the windshield or side windows.
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