Pets, pot and privacy: 10 new California laws that could affect you

Gov. Jerry Brown reviews a measure with his wife, Anne Gust Brown, at his state Capitol office on Sunday, the last day for Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature.
Gov. Jerry Brown reviews a measure with his wife, Anne Gust Brown, at his state Capitol office on Sunday, the last day for Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature. AP

California Gov. Jerry Brown has finished acting on all the bills on his desk, signing 1,016 of the 1,217 that came his way in 2018. Here are 10 that could have an affect on you:

DOCTOR DISCLOSURE: Senate Bill 1448 (Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo)

When medical providers in California are disciplined for ethical violations like gross negligence, substance abuse, inappropriate prescribing or sexual misconduct, they can be placed on probation. It allows them to continue practicing for a period under restricted conditions. Starting in July 2019, your physicians, surgeons, podiatrists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and osteopathic and naturopathic doctors will have to inform you if they are on probation before they can treat you.

UP IN SMOKE: Assembly Bill 1793 (Rob Bonta, D-Alameda)

If you have an old marijuana conviction, it may soon be eased. The Department of Justice will have until July 1, 2019, to review records and identify past convictions that may be eligible for recall or dismissal of a sentence.

PET-FRIENDLY PARKS: Assembly Bill 1762 (Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga)

The dog days are over. In a couple years, owners will have access to a comprehensive list of state park units or portions of units that allow dogs. The Department of Parks and Recreation must update its website and maintain real-time information on pet rules by July 1, 2020.

TAKE IT TO THE STREETS: Senate Bill 946 (Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens)

As the Trump administration ramps up its immigration enforcement efforts, California is attempting to bring street vendors, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, out of the shadows. The state will now prohibit local governments from banning sidewalk sales of food and other merchandise, and require them to set up a licensing system if they want to regulate the practice. Violations of local rules can only be punished with citations or fines, not criminal charges, so as not to alert immigration authorities.

TARGET PRACTICE: Assembly Bill 2103 (Todd Gloria, D-San Diego)

Whether or not to issue concealed weapons permits remains at the discretion of local sheriffs and police chiefs. But as of January, you will need to prove your proficiency in shooting and safe handling of your firearm if you want a license to carry it in public. The training requirement has also been raised to a minimum of eight hours.

REFRESHER COURSE: Senate Bill 1343 (Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles)

The #MeToo movement is changing the way we talk about sexual harassment. California, which previously only mandated regular training for supervisors at large companies, will now require it for all workers at any business with at least five employees. You can expect to receive at least an hour of instruction on workplace sexual harassment within six months of being hired at a new job and every two years after that.

DELETE YOUR DATA: Assembly Bill 375 (Ed Chau, D-Arcadia)

The California Consumer Privacy Act was a compromise reached between consumer privacy advocates and tech companies. In exchange for pulling an initiative from the ballot in June, this bill was signed into law and goes into effect starting in 2020. It allows consumers to know more about personal information companies collect on them and empowers them to request the data be deleted. If there is an unauthorized breach of your non-encrypted personal information, you can sue companies for up to $750. Still, the new law has its limits. Nothing in the law prohibits businesses from offering different prices for different levels of service, suggesting greater privacy could come at a higher cost.

EAT UP: Assembly Bill 1871 (Rob Bonta, D-Alameda)

Public schools in California are required to provide low-income students with one free or reduced-price meal per day that meets federal child nutrition requirements. The program is meant to help kids who might otherwise go hungry so that they can better focus in class. Beginning next academic year, the state is extending that rule to charter schools, which serve more than 340,000 low-income students of their own.

STAMP OUT: Assembly Bill 216 (Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego)

Election Day is almost here, and if you choose to vote by mail, you’ll no longer have to pay postage. The law works to ensure voting is free for all Californians by requiring elections officials include a return envelope with prepaid postage when delivering vote by mail ballots. Local agencies could ask the state to reimburse them for the new costs, which are estimated at $5.5 million.

WIND IN YOUR HAIR: Assembly Bill 2989 (Heath Flora, R-Ripon)

Adults born to be wild will soon be able to go helmet-less while riding electric scooters on city streets. The new law, which goes into effect at the start of 2019, also raises the speed limit for scooters on streets from 25 mph to 35 mph.

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This story was updated at 10 a.m. Oct. 3, 2018 to correct the bill number and author of the doctor disclosure bill.