New Laws in California 2018
California is an interesting political laboratory in the United States. At a time when many state legislatures are dominated by Republicans, California’s staunchly Democratic government has passed a number of bills that reflect a strongly liberal ideology. Many of those bills pertain to aiding individuals in protecting their rights and finding new employment throughout the most populous state in the union.
New laws and job applications
Some of the new laws in California this year pertain to work and applying for jobs. One of these is AB 168: Salary history. This law bans employers from asking about an individual’s salary history while applying for a job. The salary history question has held back women, minorities, and other groups in new hiring situations for decades. This new law will hopefully ensure that Californian companies bring in individuals at the salary rates they deserve.
Ban the Box helps accomplish the same goals. This law bans employers from asking blanket questions about prior convictions. Such a law will help reduce prison recidivism by increasing the likelihood that an individual who has been to jail will be able to gain another job. Another law pertaining to jobs is SB 3: Minimum wage increase. This law increased the minimum wage throughout the state to a more livable rate. An increased minimum wage allows individuals to pay the state’s exorbitant rents much more easily than they would have been able to otherwise.
Rights, guns, and marijuana
Another set of laws pertains to rights that have been expanded or restricted in recent years. SB 219: LGBT Seniors Bill of Rights gives more rights to seniors who may have otherwise been overlooked in the drive for LGBT equality. SB 250: School lunch shaming
AB 273: Subsidized child care both help to reduce the problems associated with poverty. AB 908: Paid family leave helps families take time off to care for their children and build a bond that they can keep throughout early childhood.
At the same time, the state of California is restricting other rights that its legislature believes harm other individuals. One of these is the right to bear arms. AB 424: Guns – School grounds makes it illegal for teachers and other individuals to bring concealed weapons onto school grounds. In addition, AB 7: Guns Guns – Open carry bans individuals from open carry of firearms. Proponents believe that these laws will help Californians feel safer as they live their daily lives.
The most popular new law governing a right, however, is marijuana legalization. Marijuana has been made legal throughout the state for both medical and recreational purposes. Having legalized marijuana for almost all adults helps open opportunities for the state’s residents and reduces the number of Californians who are arrested on petty drug charges every year.
Finally, there has been a coordinated effort to alleviate some of the problems that have plagued the state in recent years. Residents have complained endlessly about constant growth leading to snarled traffic. SB 1: Transportation funding provides billions of dollars to the state’s transportation projects. These projects will help widen lanes and increase the flow of traffic to the state’s busiest corridors. It will also help speed up the projects that will be started or have already been started. These efforts will make sure that living in the state will be much easier and less painful than they have been in recent years.
All of these bills passed by the legislature will impact the lives of Californians. Residents in California will face fairer hiring practices and better treatment from their employers and the government. They may also be have a smoother daily commute. It remains to be seen just how effective and long-lasting this Californian experiment in liberal policymaking will be.