AB 1884: Plastic straws
Plastic straws are going the way of plastic bags. Dine-in restaurants in the state will be prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws unless they are requested by a customer. Businesses that don’t comply will be fined $25 a day and up to $300 a year.
SB 1192: Children’s meals
Restaurants with children’s meals can no longer offer sugary drinks, such as juice and soda, as the primary choice in their menus. The default option will be milk, water or flavored water with no added sweeteners. Kids can still order sugary drinks if wanted.
SB 946: Street food vendors
Street vendors will have more freedom to sell food. Cities and counties will not be able to ban sidewalk vendors but they can set up a licensing system to regulate them. Vendors who violate local laws can only be punished with a fine or citation, and cannot face criminal charges.
SB 1164: Craft distillers
Craft distillers will be able to operate more like wineries. Starting in 2019, small-batch craft distilleries can sell whiskey, vodka and other spirits directly to customers. Right now, consumers must first take a tour or sign up for a tasting to buy alcohol.
SB 1138: Vegetarian meals
There will be more meal options for people in hospitals. Healthcare facilities will now have to offer plant-based meals to patients. Prisons will also be included in the new meal requirement.
AB 626: Home food businesses
Anyone who can cook can start a business under this new law. It allows people to sell food they make in their home kitchens to the public. They can also prepare dinners in their homes for paying guests. The home kitchens must undergo food safety inspections. The food must be sold directly to consumers, and cannot be part of a delivery service.
The state minimum wage gets another boost to $11 an hour for people working at companies with 25 or fewer employees, and to $12 an hour for those working at companies with 26 or more employees.
AB 1976: Breast milk
Employers must provide an area other than a bathroom for new mothers to express breast milk. The area must be private and within close proximity to the employee’s work space.
SB 1252: Work personnel file
Employees wanting a look at their employment records will be able to do more than just see them at their human resources office. They will be able to request a personal copy of their employment file.
SB 826: Women on board of directors
Publicly-traded companies are being put on notice. They must have at least one woman in their board of directors by the end of 2019 and two or more women in their board of directors by 2021.
AB 2274: Divorce and pets
Judges will be able to decide who gets custody of a family pet during a divorce. The judge will consider factors like who takes care or feeds the pet.
AB 485: Pet stores
Pet stores will be prohibited from selling live animals like dogs, cats or rabbits that come from breeders. The animals must be obtained from an animal shelter and the store must post the name of the agency where it got the animal.
AB 2989: Electric scooters
Adults 18 or older will be allowed to ride electric scooters without a helmet. The new law also increases the speed limit for scooters from 25 to 35 mph. It would still be illegal to ride a motorized scooter on a sidewalk.
AB 3077: Helmet use by minors
On the flip side, minors under 18 who are caught riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates without a helmet will get a citation. Violators can take a safety course to clear the ticket, and show they have a helmet within 120 days of the citation to avoid paying a fine.
AB 1755: Bicycling crashes
Bicyclists could face felony hit-and-run charges if they leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or died.
SB 1014: Ride-hailing vehicles
Your Uber ride will have to be a cleaner one. Ride-hailing companies will have to meet higher emission standards. Companies like Uber and Lyft will have to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on its platform and do more to encourage passengers to pool their rides.
AB 2886: Ride-hailing drivers
Ride-hailing apps will be required to provide passengers with the driver’s name, picture, image of the vehicle and license plate number.
AB 516: License plates
Auto dealers will now be required to place a temporary license plate on newly purchased vehicles. It is estimated the state loses out on collecting $19 million a year on tolls from recently purchased vehicles that don’t have a license plate.
SB 1046: DUI offenders
Repeat and first-time DUI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device to prevent a person who has been drinking alcohol from driving a vehicle. The device must be installed for 12 to 48 months to restore driving privileges, but the driver will no longer face restrictions to where they can drive.
AB 2685: Habitual truants
Juvenile court judges will no longer have the ability to suspend the driver’s license of a minor who is a habitual truant.
HOV lane decals
Green and white decals that allow low-emission vehicles to use HOV lanes will expire. Vehicles issued green or white decals after January 1, 2017 must apply for a red decal. The DMV will issue purple decals in 2019.
SB 1421: Police officer records
The veil is being lifted from police officer records. This new law allows inspection of an officer’s record during investigations of police shootings, use of force, sexual misconduct, dishonesty or misconduct by an officer.
SB 1391: Teens in prison
Teens under 16 will no longer go to adult prisons. They would be incarcerated in juvenile facilities even if they commit a serious offense.
AB 2020: Cannabis events
California is loosening its rules on where people can smoke cannabis. Festivals, museums, nightclubs and other venues will be able to host special events where people can purchase and consume cannabis. Currently, only county fairgrounds are allowed to host these special events.
AB 2215: Pets & Cannabis
Veterinarians will be allowed to discuss the use of cannabis with their clients, but vets will not be allowed to administer cannabis to animals.
SB 822: Net neutrality
Even though California passed a net neutrality law, don’t get carried away with streaming videos just yet. Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T cannot block, slow down or charge to use these websites. The new law guarantees equal access to streaming services and websites that require higher bandwidths and prohibits ISPs from exempting their own services from data caps. This is all great for consumers, but it is on hold for now. California has agreed not to enforce the law until a lawsuit challenging the FCC’s decision to reverse Obama era net neutrality rules is resolved in federal court.
SB 100: Green energy
Under this new law, public utilities must implement a plan to incorporate renewable energy resources. The goal is to generate 60 percent of the state’s electricity from sources like wind and solar by 2030, and 100 percent from climate-friendly resources by 2045. (SB 100)
AB 1775 & SB 834: Offshore oil production
This is California’s pushback on the Trump administration’s decision to lift a ban on new oil drilling off the coast. The law prohibits the California State Lands Commission from approving or renewing leases for the construction of pipelines and docks that could be used to increase the production of oil and natural gas in federal waters.
AB 1974: High school diplomas
Public schools can’t withhold high school diplomas for students with past-due bus fares, overdue library books or unpaid uniforms.
AB 3922: Deported students
Retroactively grants high school diplomas to seniors who have been deported.
AB 216: Mail-in ballots
Election departments must now include a return envelope with prepaid postage for vote-by-mail ballots.
SB 568: Presidential primary
Moves up California’s 2020 primary to the first Tuesday in March to have more influence in the presidential primaries.
SB 1100: Firearm sales to minors
The minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun in California increases from 18 to 21 years. Anyone under 21 wanting to buy a rifle or shotgun must do so before January 20, 2019 and pick up the firearm before the law is implemented on February 1.
AB 2103: Concealed weapons
Consumers wanting a license to carry a concealed weapon in public must undergo 8 hours of firearms training.
AB 1525: Firearms warning labels
Firearms will come with warning labels that state, “Firearms must be handled responsibly and securely stored to prevent access by children and unauthorized users.” The warnings will also be posted at gun stores.
In addition to the“sanctuary state” legislationsigned into law by Governor Brown yesterday, the Governor also signedAB 450 into law. The law is effective January 1, 2018, and requires, among other items, employers to verify that immigration officials have a judicial warrant or subpoena prior to entering the workplace and for employers to provide notice to employees if there has been a request to review the employer’s immigration documents, such as Form I-9s. The new law puts employers in a difficult situation of having to comply with federal immigration law obligations on one hand and state law requirements on the other, with large penalties that could result for violations of either law. This Friday’s Five discusses five key aspects California employers must understand about the new obligations created by AB 450.
1. Employers may not voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of “a place of labor” without a subpoena or judicial warrant.
The new law provides that employers cannot provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to “access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant.” This prohibition does not apply to I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form and “other documents for which a Notice of Inspection has been provided to the employer.”
2. Employers must give notice to employees of any immigration review of employment records.
Employers are required to post information about any inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection. The notice must be posted in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee. In addition, the notice must include the following information:
(A)The name of the immigration agency conducting the inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records.
(B)The date that the employer received notice of the inspection.
(C)The nature of the inspection to the extent known.
(D)A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.
The Labor Commissioner is required to publish a template for employers to use by July 1, 2018.
3. An employer, upon reasonable request, shall provide an “affected employee” a copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms.
An “affected employee” is an employee identified by the immigration agency inspection results to be “an employee who may lack work authorization, or an employee whose work authorization documents have been identified by the immigration agency inspection to have deficiencies.”
The employer is required to provide the affected employee a copy of the written immigration agency notice that provides the results inspection within 72 hours of after receipt of the notice. In addition, the employer shall also provide written notice of the obligations of the employer and the affected employee arising from the results of the records investigation. The notice needs to relate to the affected employee only and shall be delivered by hand at the workplace if possible and, if hand delivery is not possible, by mail and email, if the email address of the employee is known.
4. Except as otherwise required by federal law, employers cannot re-verify the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law
Violations of this provision can result in civil penalties up to $10,000.
5. Potential penalties.
Penalties for failure to provide the notices required under the new law are $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The penalties will be recovered by the Labor Commissioner.
Alimony and the New Tax Law: How the New Tax Law May Affect Your Divorce
The new tax law will have an effect on your overall divorce settlement agreement and your taxes post-divorce.
By now I’m sure that you’ve heard President Donald Trump signed a new tax law into effect back on December 22, 2017 that is sure to have big implications for just about everyone. While many of the headlines will focus on tax rates and the effects on your monthly paycheck, also contained within the new tax bill are provisions that will fundamentally change how alimony is treated for tax purposes throughout the country.
The New Law Changes How Alimony Is Treated for Tax Purposes
As it relates to the payment and receipt of alimony, prior to the enactment of this new tax law, the party paying alimony was entitled to deduct their payments from their tax liabilities, while the party receiving the alimony payment would end up paying taxes on their alimony as a form of income. This, however, has been turned on its head by the new tax law. Starting with alimony-related judgments after January 1, 2019, the spouse paying alimony will no longer be entitled to deduct those payment amounts from their overall tax liability, and the spouse receiving the alimony payments will no longer have to pay taxes on their alimony payments.
The prior tax laws were seen by many divorce attorneys as a way to preserve more money for the divorcing parties, allocating tax liabilities between former spouses and helping each party to afford to live separately. There are now concerns that with the new tax laws set to take effect in less than a year that it will leave less money overall for the divorcing family.
To help explain the effect of the new law a little better, imagine that one spouse is paying alimony in the annual amount of $20,000. Under the old tax law, if the paying spouse were to pay and then deduct $20,000 per year in alimony, with their income being taxed at the federal rate of 33%, then the previous tax law’s deduction had the potential to save them about $6,600 per year. On the flip side of that equation, the party receiving the alimony payments of $20,000 per year, if taxed at a standard rate of 15%, would see them paying about $3,000 per year in taxes, rather than the $6,600 that the paying spouse would have incurred under their tax rate. As a result, under the old system, the parties would have saved about $3,600 between the two of them, providing the paying spouse a tax break that makes the payments more affordable. These same savings would not be seen under the new tax law due to the difference in the allocation of the tax liability.
Why Was a New Tax Law Introduced?
So why was the law changed and why did the folks in Washington think this was a good idea to change up the tax responsibilities as they relate to these alimony payments? In writing the new tax law, Congress has referred to the alimony deduction as a “divorce subsidy,” and it appears that part of their rationale was to try and close the gap in which it was seen that a divorced couple could often obtain a better tax result for alimony payments made between former spouses than a still-married couple could.
Additionally, by making the paying party pay the taxes on alimony payments, it would bring alimony payments in line with child support payments, which historically have not been tax-deductible for the payer or taxable for the recipient. Of course, another significant reason for the change is the government’s bottom line, as Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that by repealing the alimony deduction, the government has the potential to add $6.9 billion in new tax revenue over 10 years.
Consult with a Tax Professional
During the course of your divorce, it is generally a good idea to consult with an independent tax professional to ensure you understand how taxes could impact your overall settlement agreement, and with these new tax laws ready to take effect, this will be become even more important.
If you have additional questions or concerns about your alimony requirements or the new tax law, it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances.
California- Employer Check Laws
Employers can no longer request credit reports for Californians unless they are working or seeking work in a financial institution, law enforcement or the state Justice Department.
The law also exempts anyone who:
(1) has access to people’s bank or credit card account information, SSN number and date of birth,
(2) has access to an employer’s proprietary information or trade secrets, (3) signs a check, credit card, financial contract, or transfers money for an employer,
(4) has access to more than $10,000 cash, or (5) is a manager in ‘certain industries’. (Law now in effect)