New CA Laws Affecting Families

Effective January 1, 2017 (unless otherwise noted), California has some new laws going in to effect that help to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

Criminal Laws

Publishing the address of domestic violence victims is now banned: According to the Los Angeles Times, “The new law will also apply to people who have been sexually assaulted or stalked and reproductive healthcare providers. It will prohibit people, businesses and associations from publishing the addresses of people protected under the law who have requested that their addresses be kept confidential.”

Elimination of statute of limitations in for rape and other sex crimes: A victim of rape or other sex crimes after December 31, 2016, can report it at any time. He/she is not limited to the ten-year statute of limitations that currently exists. (These types of crimes prior January 1, 2017 are still subject to the ten-year statute of limitations.)

Prosecutors can pursue felony charges against anyone caught in possession of certain date-rape drugs: According to the Los Angeles Times, “County prosecutors can pursue felony charges against people caught with the most common and who also have demonstrated the intent to commit a sexual assault.”

Prison time for those committing sexual assault against unconscious victims: Anyone convicted of committing a sexual assault against a victim who is unconscious or incapable of giving consent (e.g. from consumption of too much alcohol), will serve time in prison. (This bill is in response to the light six-month sentence given to Stanford University student Brock Turner.)

Medical Laws

Protection against surprise medical bills: According to the co-author of the bill Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, “This landmark law now guarantees that Californians will be protected from surprise out-of-network medical bills. Patients can rest easy knowing that when they follow the rules of their plan and go to an in-network facility, they will only be required to pay the in-network costs for their care and not be faced with an outrageous bill they never saw coming.”

Smoking at Little League Games: Smoking of any kind (including e-cigarettes) is prohibited within 250 feet of little league baseball games or other youth sporting events.

Miscellaneous Law

New Official California State Fabric: Denim is now the official state fabric in recognition of its prominent role in California history.

There are hundreds of new bills that became law effective January 1, 2017. For further information check out the official California web site at ca.gov

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