Each year, the California Legislature enacts many laws which become effective on January 1 of the following year. The following are a few of the more interesting laws which took effect on January 1, 2001:
Landlords must now give tenants 60 days’ notice, rather than 30 days notice, when rent is raised more than 10% in a 12 month period prior to the effective date of the proposed increase. [SB 1745]
Toy guns sold in California must now be produced in bright orange or green or a combination of both. [AB 2053] The law’s intent is said to prevent the shooting of children by police who believe the toy gun is the real thing. Hopefully, this law will prevent the shooting of an adult who might wave around a toy gun at a costume party!
For those of you who are into wine as your alcoholic beverage of choice, no winemaker is permitted to use "Napa" on its label, unless 75% of the grapes used in the wine come from Napa Valley in Northern California. [SB 1293]
Eye care is a speciality undertaken by ophthalmologists (medical doctors) and optometrists (well educated, but not medical doctors). Optometrists may now prescribe antibiotics for eye infections and medications for certain types of glaucoma. [SP 929]
The pay for jurors in California has been raised from $5.00 to $15.00 per day. [AB 2866] In addition, gays and lesbians cannot be excluded from juries because of their sexual orientation. [AB 2418]
Have you ever observed an individual misuse a license plate or parking placard for disabled drivers at the airport or grocery market parking lot? The fine for fraudulently or otherwise misusing such plates or placards is now $250.00. [AB 1792]
In addition to the lawsuit which a motorist should anticipate, any motorist who injures a pedestrian will face a fine of $594.00 rather than $103.00. In addition, a driver who passes another vehicle at a crosswalk will be confronted with a fine of $270.00, instead of $104.00. [AB 2522]
Nursing homes are subject to greater scrutiny in these times. The maximum fine has been quadrupled to $100,000 for a nursing home found culpable in the death of a patient. [AB 1731]
The State of California will now pay an individual wrongfully convicted of a crime $100.00 for each day spent in prison. [AB 1799]
State workers in California will get a new paid holiday in honor of labor leader Cesar Chavez. The holiday is scheduled for March 31. [SB 984]
Don't even think that the State Legislature has exhausted its interest in passing new California laws. Wait 'til next year!