With the New Year there are always new laws implemented in January and with dozens of new California laws signed by Governor Gavin Newsom there may be some that will directly impact people here in the Central Valley and others that people may not notice or even be aware of. From selling DMV appointments and new education laws to banning smoking at beaches and hairstyle discrimination here is a list of some upcoming new laws in 2020 for Californians.
All school districts and charter schools throughout California will be prohibited from suspending students for willful defiance. SB 419 relating to pupil discipline will go into effect on July 1 2020. As listed on the legislature.ca.gov site SB 419 is as follows: Existing law prohibits a pupil from being suspended from school or recommended for expulsion, unless the superintendent of the school district or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed a specified act, including, among other acts, disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. The existing law prohibits the suspension of a pupil enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive, and recommending the expulsion of a pupil enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, for disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of those school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.
This bill, commencing July 1, 2020, would apply those provisions to charter schools. Commencing July 1, 2020, the bill would additionally prohibit the suspension of a pupil enrolled in a school district or charter school in grades 4 and 5 for disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of those school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. The bill, from July 1, 2020, until July 1, 2025, would prohibit the suspension of a pupil enrolled in a school district or charter school in any of grades 6 to 8, inclusive, for those acts.
“While there are new laws enacted for education, I don’t anticipate any immediate impacts,” stated Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent Christine Facella. “The law regarding student suspensions that extends to eighth grade goes into effect in 2021. That said, we currently make efforts to work with all students in grades K-8 to address behaviors and needs with alternative discipline to the extent possible.”
Another law, SB 328 that would require schools to start no earlier than 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. which would be a later start time for some schools in California, was introduced by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino and was approved by Governor Gavin Newsom. However, it will take about three years to take effect. For the students at Riverbank High School this would not make much of a difference as their first bell rings at 7:56 a.m.
“The law regarding the school start times for secondary has a three year window for districts to make the changes,” added Facella. “We will need to address these changes through negotiation over the next three years. As for the law in which the school board may ban the use of smartphones, we have not had any discussions regarding this and up to this time it has not been a significant issue for our school sites.”
The upcoming federal enforcement date for the Real ID is on Oct. 1 this year. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recommends Californians to obtain a Real ID at the time of their renewal or prior to when the new law is in effect. The new law will be enforced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which requires a valid passport or other federally approved document like the Real ID driver license or identification card to board flights within the United States as well as entering secure federal facilities and military bases.
AB 317 will take effect this month which is a ban on selling DMV appointments. It is against the law for any person to sell or offer for sale an appointment with the DMV.
The Operation of Motorized Scooters AB 1810 removes motorized scooters from the list of vehicles requiring a Class M2 driver license or permit. This will allow any person with a valid driver license or permit of any class to operate a motorized scooter.
A law increasing paid leave from six to eight weeks with SB 83 for people taking care of a seriously ill family member or bonding with a new child takes effect on July 1.
Hairstyles are protected with SB 188 that will protect people from racial discrimination that have certain hairstyles, and textures in a schools or place of employment.
In 2020 there is a smoking ban at state parks and state beaches with SB 8. The existing law allows smoking within 25 feet of a playground or sandbox area with a fine of about $250. The new bill SB 8 will include a fine of up to $25 per person that is smoking a cigarette, cigar or other tobacco product on a state beach or state park system or that disposes of a cigar or cigarette that is not in an appropriate waste receptacle.
SB 652 would prohibit a property owner with some exceptions from enforcing or adopting a restriction that prohibits the display of religious items on an entry door or entry door frame of a dwelling.
For more information on the new laws for 2020, visit ca.gov or leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.