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Whopping 876 new laws to take effect in California now

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There are whopping 876 new laws going into effect in the Golden State this New Year. While this seems excessive, many laws will be directly benefit Californians in a period of financial uncertainty.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For example, homeowners who are behind on their mortgage negotiating with their banks won't have to worry about getting a surprise foreclosure notice. In addition, women will have expanded access to birth control, as registered nurses will be able to dispense contraceptives.

Internet addicts and Facebook fans will be happy to know that employers will not be allowed to require workers or job applicants to divulge their social media accounts or provide passwords to them.

While 876 new laws are a high amount by many, it is not. In actuality, by historic standards it was a somewhat low number. It was the most new laws put on the books in California since 2006.

Among the new laws to go into effect:

Bankruptcy protection.
AB 929 permits debtors to keep items such as tools used in their employment and an automobile so that they will be better positioned to engage in work or seek employment after going through a bankruptcy.

Bear hunting. SB 1221 bars hunters from using trained dogs to track bears, chase them into trees and bay to summon hunters to shoot the bears.

Birth control. AB 2348 authorizes registered nurses to dispense hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, patch and ring. In a change of pace, women will not have to see a doctor -- but will have to undergo a routine health assessment.

Boat registration fee. AB 2443 requires owners of boats used in freshwater bodies to pay an additional registration fee of up to $10 to pay for inspection and infestation control programs to prevent the spread of invasive mussels in state waterways.

Carbon monoxide. SB 183, requires the owners of apartment complexes to have working carbon monoxide detectors in every unit with a fossil-fuel-burning furnace or appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Drug overdose reporting. AB 472 allows any person to report a drug-related overdose to authorities or seek medical assistance for a drug overdose without being subject to arrest on suspicion of possession of or being under the influence of illegal drugs.

Electronic proof of insurance. AB 1708 frees up many drivers to present proof of their insurance on cell phones in lieu of printed receipts. However, motorists will continue to get paper proof-of-insurance forms from their insurance companies unless they request otherwise.

Homeowners' bill of rights.
SB 900 institutes grants new rights to homeowners undergoing foreclosure. The law prohibits lenders from initiating the foreclosure process during the time an application for loan modification is being reviewed. It also requires lenders to provide homeowners with a single point of contact as they navigate their request for a loan modification.

And just for fun - Legacy license plates.
Under AB 1658, the Department of Motor Vehicles will start accepting applications for specialized licenses plates that replicate plates from the past. Styles from the 1950s, '60s and '70s will be available.

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