San Diego

Local Reaction to New Laws Kicking Off in January 2017

The new year is just around the corner and along with it arrive new laws for the state of California.

Those include higher minimum wage, restrictions on assault weapons, and limits on texting and driving. They all go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

In San Diego, the law getting the most attention from locals is the hike in the hourly minimum wage. It will increase to $11.50—a dollar more than the state's wage of $10.50 an hour starting next year.

“If you have fewer than 26 employees, you will not be affected until 2018. So it just sets back by one year the amount of time one has to comply with the new law,” said Vic Bajaj, a legal analyst.

That wage is set to go up every year for the next five years.

“It means that you will increase to $10.50 and gradually, until 2022, California will reach $15 an hour, ” Bajaj said.

One employee NBC 7 spoke with told us he works over 40 hours a week and has two jobs to make ends meet. He said he is excited to earn more money for his work.

But many business owners said they just can't afford to pay more. 

Californians will also face more strict gun laws.

Anyone with an AR style firearm will have to register the weapon with the Department of Justice again. Those who want to buy ammunition will also have to go through a background check.

“Right now you come in to buy ammunition, you're 21 years old, we sell it to you. Period," said Mark from American Indoor Range. "After the first of the year, you come in to buy ammunition, you'll have to show us some kind of ID. We'll keep a record of that before we can sell it to you.”

But Mark told NBC 7 that how the new law will be implemented is a gray area for customers and experts. 

“Quite frankly we've never been given any information yet from the Department of justice on how they're going to implement that or how we're going to do it," he said.

Among the new laws is restrictions on texting while driving, including using any social media apps and GPS.

NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez spoke with legal analyst Vic Bajaj to explain what new laws will be taking effect this New Year in 2017, from an increase in minimum wage to tougher gun laws to stricter texting restrictions.
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