Start of July Marks Beginning of New California Laws

A series of new laws went into effect Sunday and target a number of issues, ranging from used car sales practices to French delicacies.

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 5: An exterior of the state capitol is shown on January 5, 2006 in Sacramento, California. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered his state of the state address in the Assembly Chambers of the state capitol today. In his speech, Schwarzenegger admitted to making mistakes with the special election and vowed to work with members of the Assembly and Senate and try to move California ahead in the year to come. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

    Sunday marked the start of July as well as a number of new laws in California. These new regulations went into effect July 1 and address everything from tattoo hygiene to school bullying. Below is a list of these new pieces of legislation.

    SB 1520: Foie Gras Ban
    Also known as "Foiemageddo," this bill prohibits the sale or production of foie gras, a French delicacy that involves force-feeding geese or ducks to enlarge their livers beyond normal size. The bill, which former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law in 2004, is the first law of its type in the country.

    In the days leading up to the ban, restaurant owners said they saw an increase in the sale of foie gras, and some Californians reportedly went on "foie gras crawls" before the legislation went into effect.

    Violators will be slapped with a $1,000 fine and up to $1,000 for each day the violation continues, but some restaurants owners are considering a "BYOF" -- Bring Your Own Foie -- policy. In other words, the restaurant will cook foie gras for customers who supply the meat themselves.

    AB 9: Seth's Law
    "Seth's Law" requires schools to include sexual harassment and gender identity issues in their anti-harassment and anti-discrimination programs.

    Named after Seth Walsh -- a 13-year-old gay student who committed suicide in 2010 after enduring prolonged bullying -- the law also mandates that schools update their complaint and discipline procedures for bullying.

    AB 1156: Anti-bullying
    This law expands the definition of bullying to include material posted on online social media websites. It also requires school employees to receive training in preventing bullying, and gives students who are bullied priority in transferring schools.

    SB 946: Autism Services
    Dubbed the "Autism Bill," this new piece of legislation requires a majority of insurance plans to cover behaviorally based treatment of autism, which had before been considered an educational service, rather than medical.

    It also institutes an Autism Task Force, which seeks to assist the Department of Managed Health Care in issues concerning behavioral health treatments, by Feb. 1. It is slated to last for exactly two years, expiring on July 1, 2014.

    SB 222: Maternity Services
    This new bill requires all health insurance policies to provide coverage for maternity services, including prenatal and postnatal operations. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and went into effect Sunday.

    AB 300: Safer Tattoos
    Known as "The Safe Body Art Act," the law imposes minimum safety and health standards at body piercing and tattoo parlors. It mandates that practitioners are vaccinated against Hepatitis B and receive training in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and infection prevention. In addition, customers will be required to give their informed consent before they are tattooed or pierced.

    AB 1215: Used Cars
    Car dealers are now required to mark vehicles with red warning stickers if they are considered "junk" or "salvage" by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. The legislation aims to alert used car shoppers to possible damages.

    As a trade-off, the bill lets dealers charge as much as $80 for titles and registrations, an increase from the original fee of $55. The law also requires car dealers to register vehicles electronically, a move that is expected to cut costs by roughly $9 million by reducing the amount of paperwork at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    AB 69: Social Security Database
    This bill lets counties use the Social Security Administration benefits database to find elderly, low-income individuals who may be eligible to receive food stamps.

    AB 341: Recycling Mandate
    The new law mandates recycling for businesses and apartment buildings that are larger than four units and have more than four cubic yards of waste per week.

    AB 959: Extra Time for Welfare Recipients
    Welfare and food stamp recipients will now have an extra month to file quarterly reports.

    AB 1424: Suspending Licenses for Tax Delinquents
    The new law requires that California suspend certain occupational licenses, certificates, registrations or permits from the state's highest tax delinquents.

    SB 190: Liens
    Laborers will be required to forfeit their lien if they include labor or materials in a lien claim that were not used during a project.

    SB 424: Design Liens to Mechanics Liens
    The law authorizes a design professional to convert a "recorded design professional" lien to a "mechanics" lien if certain conditions are met, including a design lien that has expired or is not fully paid.

    SB 510: Brokers
    The law allows a broker to delegate supervising authority to a manager of a branch office.

    SB 841: Solid Waste Handling
    This bill places certain restrictions on the ability of local agencies to require garbage franchises to compensate themselves for certain liabilities.


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