New Laws for Californians in 2008

Starting January 1st, the second minimum wage hike from 2006 legislation takes effect. Californians will earn at least $8 per hour up from $7.50. Tying Massachusetts for the highest state minimum wage in the country.

Teens who want to tan will need their parent or legal guardian to sign a consent form at the establishment that will be valid for one year. Current law simply requires a note from the parent for kids 14 to 17 to use ultraviolet tanning beds.

Gift cards with less than $10 on them will now be redeemable for their cash value. The bill author says in 2006, $8.2 billion in gift cards went unspent in the United States because items less than $10 weren't available and stores were not required to pay the cash equivalent.

The so called "Mel Gibson bill" also takes effect, to keep police in California from leaking confidential information as in the case of the film director and star. That legislation will make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 for a law enforcement officer to leak confidential information or for somebody to solicit that information for the officer's financial benefit.

Mothers who have stillborn babies will be allowed to receive certificates of still birth rather than death certificates as they are currently given by county birth and death recorders.

A bill allowing sperm from an HIV positive spouse or to be used for in vitro fertilization also takes effect. That sperm would have to be washed to reduce the risk of infection.

HIV testing will become routine during physical examinations. Doctors will have to inform patients they intend to test patients at which time they may decline the test.

Californians will be prohibited from requiring another individual to implant radio frequency devices under their skin.

Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will impose up to $100 fine on adults who smoke a cigarette, pipe or cigar with children in a parked or moving vehicle.

California's hands-free cell phone driving law goes into effect on July first of 2008.

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