California is reinventing itself along progressive lines
Today onwards, California will start implementing hundreds of new laws of a progressive bent which will affect everything from education and health to wages to immigration to traffic.
Considering the nature of the new laws, the Golden State is set to turn into the US equivalent of a Scandinavian country in this new year.
California's 2018 plans involve implementing progressive laws
New laws will offer more protection to immigrants
With the federal government clamping down on immigration, California will take measures to safeguard immigrants against state persecution.
Under the new laws, local authorities will be limited in their ability to cooperate with the federal government in sharing immigration status.
Landlords can face civil penalties for threatening to report renters to federal immigration authorities, and workplace raids can only be conducted with 72hrs notice.
Changes in minimum wage, employment standards, and parental leave
Companies with a staff of 26 or more people will have to pay their employees at least $11 per hour as opposed to $10.50 earlier. Smaller companies can pay $10.50.
Asking prospective employees about their salary history will become illegal, and equal pay laws will apply to government jobs.
New parents working at companies with 20+ people can take 12 weeks unpaid parental leave.
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Education & Juveniles
Education and the juvenile justice system under the new laws
Schools are required to provide free tampons and sanitary supplies to students from grade six onwards.
Schools can't deny school lunches to children who can't afford them.
On another front, parents will no longer have to pay fees for handling children who are in the juvenile justice system, and minors will no longer face life sentences without parole.
Health & Lifestyle
Significant changes on the health and lifestyle front
AIDS will be treated like any other communicable disease, and knowingly transmitting it will no longer be considered a felony.
September onwards, parents won't have to list gender on children's birth certificates, and many public stations will have to provide diaper changing stations in men's restrooms too.
Animal antibiotics will require prescriptions, and cleaning products will have to clearly mention presence of hazardous chemicals.
Guns & weed
Changes in gun laws and marijuana legislation
School officials will no longer be allowed to carry concealed weapons inside school premises, and openly carrying unloaded guns can now be forbidden by local authorities.
Assembling guns will require people to get serial numbers.
Meanwhile, recreational pot smoking has been legalized, although legitimate, licensed dealers will be initially available only in select cities.
New traffic management and personal finance rules
On the personal finance front, refinancing mortgages and other real-estate transactions will be charged a $75 fee that will go towards low-income housing projects.
As far as traffic management goes, commercial bus drivers driving without a seat belt can be fined up to $20, and drivers can be fined for smoking pot in their cars when on a state road.
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