California has 13 new state laws on the books so far this year, ranging from minor technical changes to responses to some of the year’s most prominent issues.
This month lawmakers passed the most recent new protection for immigrants in the country without legal documentation. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s measure requires a private ruling from a judge before an attorney can ask about a witness’s immigration status in open court.
Other significant bills put in place new whistleblower protections for Capitol staff after the rise of the #MeToo movement; new inspection requirements at state dams, after fears of a collapse at Oroville Dam last year; and a ballot measure, currently before voters, about whether to exempt rainwater capture systems from the value of a home.
Most of the 13 new laws were urgency measures — meaning they took effect immediately. The Legislature will pass the vast majority of new laws near the end of its session in August.
Here’s the full list of bills signed into law so far this year:
- SB 785 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco): Requires a private ruling from a judge before an attorney can ask about a witness’s immigration status in open court.
- SB 941 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens): Appropriates almost $2 million to pay Craig Richard Coley, a man wrongly imprisoned for nearly 40 years for murder and rape.
- AB 1443 by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg): Ratifies a tribal gaming compact, which allows Elk Valley Casino in Crescent City to continue operating past 2020 and to expand.
- AB 1694 by Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley): Makes technical changes to foster care payments.
- AB 417 by Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara): Allows a psychiatric hospital damaged by fires to continue to provide outpatient services.
- AB 105 by the Assembly Budget Committee: Local governments can use 5 percent of a $7 million appropriation for Census preparation on administrative costs.
- AB 106 by the Assembly Budget Committee: Technical changes so state agencies can do background checks on marijuana businesses, and supplies money for the tracking of cannabis as it’s produced and shipped.
- AB 108 by the Assembly Budget Committee: Technical changes to child care subsidies.
- AB 110 by the Assembly Budget Committee: Prohibits counties from contracting with ICE to hold undocumented immigrants not accused of other crimes; expands an exemption for real estate document fees; allows faster payments for foster caregivers.
- AB 1270 by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City): Adds $1 million for dam inspections after the crisis at Oroville Dam, and requires annual, more thorough inspections of dams.
- AB 1407 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento): Automatically pre-registers 16 and 17 year olds to vote when they get their driver’s license or ID card.
- AB 403 by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore): Adds new penalties for Capitol employers who interfere with whistleblowing by employees.
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