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Hundreds of New Laws Go Into Effect in California in January

Hundreds of new laws will go into effect in California come Jan. 1, including a minimum-wage boost, and controls on guns and mobile phone use while driving.

The new year also will bring a new water ban in the city of Santa Barbara.

Starting Sunday, turf lawns cannot be irrigated with potable water.

Minimum wage, equal pay: The minimum wage will increase at companies with 26 or more employees, from $10 an hour to $10.50 — a rate that will rise to $15 an hour by 2020. Click here to read the law.

Assembly Bill 1676 mandates that an employee can’t pay a woman less than her male colleagues based on prior salary. Click here to read the law

Sex crimes: The definition of rape is broaden to include “all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault,” under Assembly Bill 701. Click here to read the law.

Bill 2888 mandates prison time for a person who sexually assaults a severely intoxicated or unconscious person. Click here to read the law

Assault weapons: California voters passed a gun law that calls for a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines, plus people must undergo background checks before buying ammunition. Click here to read the law.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued a reminder to motorists about a handful of new transportation-related laws or changes to existing law that are set to begin. Click here to read the law.

Cell phone use: Drivers in California are prohibited from using a handheld device in a way that distracts from driving. Sending or reading a text message, taking pictures, streaming video and entering in GPS destinations are banned.

The law expands on a ban already in place on texting while driving.

First offense is set at a $20 fine and $50 for each subsequent offense. Click here to read the law

Motorcycle lane splitting: The California Highway Patrol will establish guidelines for how fast motorcyclists can drive when weaving between stopped or moving cars along the lanes. Click here to read the law.

Child safety seats: According to Assembly Bill 53, children under two years old are required to sit in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is more than 40 inches in height. Click here to read the law

For more information on the 898 new laws Gov. Jerry Brown enacted in 2016, go to the Legislative Counsel Web's website at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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