New Year brings more than 800 new laws

The New Year brings new laws. And in 2014, more than 800 will go into effect in California, many of which begin Wednesday.
December 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The New Year brings new laws. And in 2014, more than 800 will go into effect in California, many of which begin Wednesday.

From drivers, to gun owners to students, even families looking to make upgrades to their homes. There's a new law for just about everybody. But as we found out, not everyone is prepared for the changes.

The California Highway Patrol is reminding drivers of several new laws going in to effect in 2014. Law enforcement officers will be required to activate Amber Alerts if a child is abducted by a parent or guardian at risk of causing them serious injury or death.

Another law requires drivers to give cyclists more room on the road. Starting in September drivers must allow at least three feet of clearance when passing, or pay a fine, whether there was a crash or not.

Captain Dave Paris with the California Highway Patrol said, "We have a lot of bicyclists, unfortunately we don't have a lot of designated true bicycle paths so this law will be a true benefit for bicyclists in the Central Valley."

Also this year, a new law could make it more expensive to remodel your home. Families looking to add square footage or make improvements to houses at least 20 years old, must install new low-flow plumbing fixtures like shower heads and toilets throughout the entire house.

Kitchen Bath Plus General Manager Kevin Pine said, "I can understand the logic. A 20 year old home is wasting a lot of water. But it's going to have a lot of backlash."

Eleven new laws will impact firearms owners. One requires people to keep their guns locked if they live with someone who's barred from owning a weapon because of a criminal or mental health record. Another puts tougher penalties on parents who don't stow their guns properly. And those looking to buy a rifle will now need to pass a safety test, while the state begins compiling a database of rifle and shotgun purchases.

And finally, the New Year also brings new labor laws. Starting January first, the minimum wage will increase from $8.00 to $9.00.

Outdoor employees, such as farm laborers, construction workers, or landscapers, must get rest breaks in hot weather. And employers will be prohibited from considering prior criminal convictions when hiring, if it's been judicially dismissed.

And of course, one of the most controversial laws this year, allows transgender students to choose which restrooms they use and which boys or girls sports to participate in.


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