New year ushers in new minimum wage, hoverboard and vaccination rules

116591 full
116591 full

Roughly 800 new policies in effect in California now have given the green light to hoverboards and drinking on brew bikes while raising the minimum wage and cost of filing a ballot initiative.

Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers gave Patt Morrison a short list of regulations to pay attention to on KPCC's AirTalk.

  • $10 minimum wage Of all the new regulations kicking in on Jan. 1, Myers said the one with the widest reach raises the state's minimum wage from $9 to $10 an hour. "The $10 an hour on Jan. 1 makes us tied with Massachusetts for the highest statewide minimum wage, though there are local minimum wages in some parts of California that are higher," Myers said. "That will have an impact on low-income workers and it will be hotly debated in business communities. It will be debated back here at the capitol and there are efforts to raise it again in 2016."
  • Hoverboards get the green light It's against the law in New York but cruising California on hoverboards where bikes are allowed became legal on Friday. Riders must comply with speed conditions and rules about age and safety gear. Myers said this law was passed before news reports broke about safety defects in some electrically motorized board models, so expect the hoverboard discussion in Sacramento to be ongoing.
  • Got a warrant to search that smart phone? In a win for privacy advocates, California law enforcement officers must now get search warrants to view a suspect's emails, text messages or GPS data before searching a device as part of an investigation. 
  • Mandatory vaccinations Myers told KPCC that a new law mandating vaccinations for most children enrolling in school was one of the most interesting debates he followed last year. The law removes a provision that previously allowed parents to exempt their children from being vaccinated based on personal beliefs."The opponents of SB 277, which is this law, either feared the ingredients in vaccines or the schedule of vaccinations. They were as unusual an alliance as you’ll ever see: libertarians from the Inland valley, liberal mothers from Berkeley, Hollywood celebrities. But the medical community really found critical mass. The polling show that most Californians supported these vaccine mandates," said Myers.
  • Higher renewable energy mandates Utility companies must get more of their energy from renewable sources between now and 2030. Buildings must also become more energy-efficient.
  • $2,000 to file a ballot initiative The cost of filing a state ballot initiative has risen to $2,000 from $200. "The $200 level was in place for decades and people had been discussing whether it was appropriate to raise it. $2,000 is going to make some people maybe take a second look before they file," said Myers.
  • Toy vs. real guns In the wake of the tragic Tamir Rice shooting, a new state law requires toy gun makers to include things like fluorescent trigger guards on toy guns so they will be more easily distinguished from actual guns.
  • Drinking OK on brew bikes Gov. Brown signed a bill that will allow drinking beer on multi-person brew bikes in California as part of a pub crawl. 
  • Assisted suicide law California's assisted suicide law, which would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill patients with lethal doses of drugs, hasn't taken effect yet but Myers believes it will become law in Spring 2016. Gov. Brown has signed the bill and it was enacted as part of a special legislative session on health care. But that special session hasn't adjourned. When it does, it will take about 90 days for the bill to take effect.

For more new policies that went into effect on Friday, check out these two primers from The Sacramento Bee and the LA Times.

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