New CA laws include straw restrictions, minimum wage increase and more

Posted at 8:00 PM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 21:16:08-05

As we turn the page on 2018, we’re also starting a new chapter of California laws passed by the legislature this year.

Some came out of conversations brewing for months or longer, while others directly respond to new technologies and products.

There were entire cultural movements that found a captive audience in the California legislature. A prime example: protecting women speaking up about assault and harassment.

“There were some really exciting wins for California this year and I think, once again, California is going to take the lead for the rest of the nation to show how robust sexual harassment and other discrimination protections can be,” said Jessica Stender of Equal Rights Advocates, a group that co-sponsored legislation that guarantees courts fairly and consistently apply the standard for sexual harassment and holds corporations feet to the fire.

“It also addresses some of the sneaky tactics that we’ve seen employers use to silence workers and to keep them from being able to file sexual harassment and other workplace claims, so that was a big win in that regard,” Stender said.

California witnessed more gun violence tragedy, bringing communities to their knees. In the new year, the state’s gun laws will tighten. The legal age for buying long guns jumps from 18 to 21 and bump stocks will be officially banned.

Other laws taking effect January 1 — all mail-in ballots must be pre-paid by municipalities, customers can only get a plastic straw by request at restaurants, minimum wage rises to $12/hour for most companies, and motorized scooters don’t require a helmet for those 18 and older.