California Seal

By Jim Sanders
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 – 10:18 am

New California laws target issues ranging from picketing at funerals to restrictions on employers’ right to examine the Facebook pages of their workers.

Much of the legislation was pushed by Democrats, who dominate both houses of the Legislature.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed 876 bills in the past legislative session, most of which take effect today, including this sampling.


Youth offender resentence

SB 9 allows some people convicted of murder, if they had committed the crime as a minor, to seek resentencing to a prison term of 25 years to life. (Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco)

Picketing at funerals

SB 661 makes picketing at funerals a misdemeanor, taking aim at a group that has waved signs at funerals of homosexuals, military members and federal judges. (Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance)

Open carrying of rifles

AB 1527 bans openly carrying unloaded rifles on city streets, with exceptions for people engaged in hunting, target shooting, parades, licensed gun shows, firearms sales or other such activities. (former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada-Flintridge)

Compassionate release

SB 1462 gives county sheriffs the right to release dying jail inmates early and authorizes a court to grant medical probation to an incapacitated inmate. (Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco)

Metal purchases

AB 1971 quadruples the maximum fine from $250 to $1,000 for junk and secondhand dealers who knowingly buy or receive metals used in telephone, electricity or other public utilities. (Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo)


Academic Performance Index

SB 1458 de-emphasizes standardized tests in evaluating public schools and requires other factors such as graduation rates and college-going rates to be used in calculating a school’s Academic Performance Index. (Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento)

Evaluation of principals

SB 1292 authorizes school districts to evaluate principals annually for the first and second year of employment as a new principal in a district. (Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada-Flintridge)

Digital textbooks

SB 1052 and 1053 set the stage for producing digital textbooks for 50 of the most widely taken lower-division courses at California colleges and universities, when money is available, and creates an open-source library to house such materials. (Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento)


Immunization information

AB 2109 requires parents to receive information from a health care provider before exempting their child from immunizations. (Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento)

Birth control access

AB 2348 expands women’s access to birth control by allowing registered nurses to dispense such drugs or devices in primary care and other clinics. (Assemblywoman Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles)

Health insurance standards

AB 1453 and SB 951 set minimum standards for medical services – such as emergency treatment, maternity and newborn care – that insurers must meet starting in 2014. (Respectively, then- Assemblyman and now Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Sen. Ed Hernández, D-West Covina)

Nonsurgical abortions

SB 623 extends, until January 2014, a program allowing nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to perform nonsurgical abortions. (former Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego)

Mammography insurance

AB 137 requires health insurance policies to cover mammographies, for screening or diagnostic purposes, upon referral by doctors or various other health care practitioners. (former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada-Flintridge)


Driver’s licenses

AB 2189 allows an estimated 400,000 undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses – those in the federal Deferred Action program for immigrants who came to the U.S. as youths and have led generally productive lives. (former Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles)

Religious grooming

AB 1964 bans discrimination based on religious dress or grooming, such as Sikhs’ turbans. (Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis)

Sexual orientation therapy

SB 1172 prohibits therapy on homosexual or other minors that attempts to alter their sexual orientation. Legal challenges are pending. (Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance)


Red-light cameras

SB 1303 tightens restrictions on the use of red-light traffic cameras but bolsters their legal underpinnings by stating that evidence from them is not hearsay. (Former Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto)

Hands-free texting

AB 1536 allows drivers to dictate, send or listen to text messages with a hands-free device. (Former Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona)

Motorcycle checkpoints

AB 1047 prohibits local governments from conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints. (Former Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore)

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