Happy New Year – 760 new laws for California – gays in textbooks, fruity drinks, and maternity leave

I must be a wonk because I find all these new laws fascinating. From a bill that allows infused drinks to another that requires schools to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in history lessons.

For the record, an infused drink is not a Mojito where mint is added when the drink is made. Instead the fruit is added to the alcohol and then sits on the shelf, infusing, and served at some later point.

There are also laws that ban selling puppies on the street and another allowing near unlimited clean needles for drug users. Beer with caffeine is banned and so is using a credit check during the hiring process. There is also a new permit that allows wine to be sold online and some extra money for investigating a San Diego to Los Angeles high-speed rail.

It feels like all the budget cuts from Governor Brown are rearranging everything, hopefully saving some money and maybe, just maybe improving our lives.

Here are a few more and a link at bottom for the full list.

Saving parks: allows nonprofits to take over the operation of state parks that otherwise would be closed because of budget problems.

Recycling: establishes as state policy that 75% of solid waste should be diverted from landfills to recycling and other processes by 2020.

Presidential primary: moves the state’s presidential primary election from February to June and consolidates it with the statewide primary election to save $100 million.

Iran: mandates that the state’s pension boards divest their funds from companies that are part of the defense or nuclear industries in Iran.

Autism: requires health insurers to include coverage for autism.

Foster care: allows foster care for eligible youths to extend beyond age 18, up to age 21, when the Legislature provides the money. Another measure requires California State University campuses and community colleges to give foster youths priority to enroll in classes.

Maternity leave: requires employers to maintain and pay for health coverage while women are on maternity leave.

Marijuana: gives cities and counties clearer authority to regulate the location and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Another law creates new penalties for the possession of synthetic cannabis products, which have been sold in convenience stores and tobacco shops.

Lying politicians: forces elected officials to forfeit office if convicted of falsely claiming they have been awarded military decorations.

Dream Act: The portion of the California Dream Act taking effect this year makes illegal immigrants accepted at California public universities and community colleges eligible for privately funded scholarships administered by the schools.

view the full list at LA Times