More than 800 new California laws will go into effect in 2013.
Many of the laws reflect key issues brought up throughout the year. These controversial topics include immigration, gun control, and social media privacy.
SB 2189 allows illegal immigrants who are in President Obama’s Deferred Action program to obtain a driver’s license. The deferred action program allows undocumented immigrants who are under 31 and came to the United States before they were 16, the opportunity to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation. If accepted into the program they receive a work permit. In order to apply for a driver’s license, the undocumented immigrants must prove to have led a productive life during that two-year span.
AB 1436 allows California voters the option to register and vote on Election Day. It would not take effect until 2014.
A controversial topic in 2012 was the talk of sexual orientation therapy. SB 1172 bans reparative therapy intended to alter a homosexuals’ sexual orientation. The bill declares that being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is neither a disease nor an illness and prohibits any mental health therapist from attempting to change that individual’s sexual orientation by means of reparative psychotherapy.
Another frequently discussed issue this past year was the SB 1221 bill. California lawmakers have banned the use of hounds when hunting for bears or bobcats.
Along with the ban of hunting dogs, AB 1527 prohibits anyone to carry an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun on city streets. The new California law classifies this offense as a misdemeanor. The only exceptions are made for peace officers, hunters engaged in hunting, or if the person holding an unloaded firearm is near a gun business, or in one’s own home.
Internet privacy laws have changed too. SB 1349 bans any university or employer to require personal account information for social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.
School coaches, teachers, and administrators in K-12 schools will be required to report suspected child sexual abuse or neglect under AB 1434.