California Gov. Jerry Brown signed more than 800 new laws into the books in 2013, including high-profile reforms on immigration, gun control and rights of transgender students, as well as some changes including a raise in the minimum wage and more rules for motorists when sharing the road with cyclists.
One new law, Assembly Bill 60, allows undocumented people to obtain driver's licenses in the state. The licenses would be available in 2015, and the Department of Motor Vehicles is still developing the process to obtain the new cards.
The DMV estimates that 1.4 million people will apply for the licenses.
Senate Bill 4 aims to regulate hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in the state, and requires that oil companies engaging in the practice notify neighbors, test groundwater for contamination and list the chemicals used in the process on the Internet.
Another bill that has received ample media attention in the state and throughout the country is Assembly Bill 1266, which allows transgender students to choose which school facilities to use and which sports teams to join according to their "gender identity."
The future of this law is unclear, however, as a referendum to overturn it could qualify for a statewide ballot.
One law that will affect cyclists and motorists is Assembly Bill 1371, also known as the "Three Feet for Safety Act." It requires motorists to keep at least 3 feet of distance between their vehicles and cyclists on the road and goes into effect in September.
Under current law, motorists are required to pass bicycles going in the same direction "at a safe distance" without interfering with the bicycle's safe operation.
The new law requires drivers to maintain a distance of not less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. In addition, the law does not allow drivers to cross a double-yellow line to avoid bike riders. Instead, motorists are required to slow to a safe speed to pass.
The state also enacted stricter gun control laws, including mandatory safety training for those using rifles. Kits that allow guns to be converted to semi-automatic weapons are also not allowed under a new law.
The governor also approved a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage from $8 to $9 beginning in July, with another dollar increase scheduled for 2015.