New California Laws For 2010

Here’s an alphabet soup look at some bills that become law on Jan. 1, whether we like them or not:

A is for alligator. SB 609 will extend from 2010 until 2015 a law that allows the importation of products made with alligator and crocodile parts.

B is for bicycles. SB 527 allows the operation of bikes without seats on state roads, as long as the bike was built that way on purpose.

C is for cows. SB 135 makes it a misdemeanor to chop off a cow’s tail, except for when it’s medically necessary.

D is for dental assistants. AB 667 authorizes dental assistants to apply fluoride to the teeth of school kids, under the “general direction” of a dentist.

E is for elevators. SB 478 allows non-state-certified mechanics to provide “routine” inspection and maintenance services to elevators at agricultural complexes.

F is for fruits and nuts. AB 945 continues a 95-year-old program that sets minimum standards for fruits, nuts and vegetables sold in the state. The program had been set to expire at the end of the year.

G is for graffiti. AB 576 legally defines local agencies as “victims” when it comes to graffiti vandalism. That will allow the agencies to seek restitution for cleanup from convicted vandals.

H is for honey. AB 1216 changes the definition of the word “honey,” in a bid to thwart deceptive labeling practices. Among other things, it must be no more than 20 percent water.

I is for insurance. AB 470 removes a current obstacle that prevents insurance companies from directly releasing accident information to the attorney of an insured person.

J is for junk dealers. SB 627 requires junk dealers and recyclers to keep written records when they buy catalytic converters. The idea is to cool off the market for “hot” catalytic converters stolen for the valuable metals inside them.

K is for Kingsburg. SB 532 cedes state control of part of State Route 201 to the Fresno County town of Kingsburg, in part so town officials don’t need state permission to close the route for the annual Swedish Festival.

L is for loitering. SB 492 hikes fines and jail time for registered gang members who hang around schools within 72 hours of having been warned to scram. A conviction could result in up to a year in jail.

M is for Milk. SB 572 designates May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, and requires schools to observe the birth date of the assassinated gay rights leader as a “day of special significance.”

N is for nitrous oxide. AB 1015 makes it a misdemeanor to sell or give nitrous oxide – aka “laughing gas” to a minor.

O is for oil spills. AB 305 imposes jail time for those convicted of knowingly failing to report oil spills, or lying about them.

P is for parks. SB 428 amends an 88-year-old law to include “marine mammal park” in the allowable uses of a beach area in San Diego. It used to be a children’s beach, but harbor seals moved in, took over and have refused to leave.

Q is for quakes. AB 1175 allows the Bay Area Toll Authority to raise tolls on all Bay Area bridges to pay for earthquake safety fixes on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges.

R is for raffles. SB 200 allows raffles for charities and other nonprofits to be advertised – but not conducted – via the Internet.

S is for sea cucumbers. Among other things, AB 1442would extend the ban on catching sea cucumbers without a state permit. The ban had been set to expire in April.

T is for trademarks. SB 324 allows confiscated stuff with bogus trademarks to be donated to charities rather than destroyed, as long as the real trademark holder agrees.

U is for unclaimed property. AB 1291 strengthens the current unclaimed property law by increasing requirements for banks and other institutions to inform customers about dormant accounts and other assets.

V is for video. AB 62 allows people to drive vehicles with video screens operating in the front seat, as long as the driver can’t see them.

W is for waste. AB 1249 extends the annual fees charged by the state for the transport of “inedible kitchen grease.” It also makes it easier for the state veterinarian to issue permits for hauling away dead animals in emergencies.

X is for X-rays. AB 356 authorizes doctors to delegate some X-ray procedures to licensed physician assistants.

Y is for Yerba Buena Island. SB 833, among other things, requires that new buildings on this San Francisco Bay island not block views from public areas.

Z is for zoos. SB 286 allows the Department of Fish and Game to issue permits for collecting plants and animals to zoos and aquariums, rather than just to individuals employed by those enterprises.

(Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed an identical measure last year because he was angry that legislators’ approval of the state budget was late. That happens sometimes, when they get busy passing other bills.)

Source: State Legislature

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