Every year, the California Legislature passes hundreds of bills. In 2018, most of them will take effect on New Year's Day. The new laws cover topics ranging from the state's new recreational marijuana market and the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.
The following are some of the laws taking effect on January 1, 2018:
- Criminal justice – If a person is convicted of a repeated drug offense, he/she wil not be automatically be given an extra three years added to the sentence. Offenders who record or stream their crimes on social media are now subject to increased penalties.
- Juvenile Offenders – If a prison inmate is serving a life sentence for a crime committed before they turned 18 years of age, they have an opportunity to be released after 25 years. If a minor is in the juvenile justice system, their families won't be charged any fees.
- Cannabis – Recreational cannabis is now available for purchase for those over 21 years of age and have valid identification.
- Immigration – Police are prohibited from asking people about their immigration status or participate in federal immigration enforcement actions under a law which makes California a sanctuary state. Furthermore, immigration officials must obtain a warrant to access workplaces or employee records, landlords will be barred from disclosing tenant's citizenship and university officials cannot cooperate with immigration officers.
- Education – Assembly Bill 18 establishes the initial stage of a “free college” program here, waving the first year of fees for any first-time student who enrolls full-time at one California's 114 community colleges. However, lawmakers still need to provide the money in the next budget. Students in grades 7-12 need to be taught about sexual abuse and human trafficking prevention. Public schools where at least 40 percent of students meet the federal poverty threshold need to provide free tampons and menstrual products in half of restrooms.
- Minimum Wage – There is a 50-cent increase for minimum wage. Those working in companies that have at least 26 employees wil l have a minimum wage of $11, while companies with less have a $10.50 limit. employees.
- Guns – You cannot bring guns or ammunition purchased in another state or online to California, unless it is from a licensed dealer.
- Job Leave – Parents who work at businesses with 20 to 49 employees will now receive three months of unpaid maternity and paternity leave.
- Walking – If there is a countdown present, a pedestrian will not be charged with jaywalking for using the crosswalk after a "Do Not Walk" sign appears.
- Diaper Changing Stations – State and local agencies, as well as public venues (e.g. restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and sports arenas) must provide at least one diaper-changing station accessible to women and men.