New Year, New Laws


When the clock struck midnight on Thursday morning, a number of the 930 bills Governor Jerry Brown signed into law went into effect across California. Here are 10 of the most interesting new rules to be aware of now:

  • It’s now possible, legally speaking, to invade someone’s privacy with a drone (if one is used to record a person in a private place).
  • Landlords can no longer prevent apartment and condo renters from growing fruits and vegetables in portable pots.
  • Toy weapon manufacturers must design toy guns in bright colors so they are less easily mistaken for real ones.
  • Members of same-sex couples can now check a box marked “parent” (an alternative to “mother” or “father”) on birth certificates.
  • Students can no longer be expelled for “willfully defying” school officials.
  • Bitcoin and other “digital currencies” are now legal for transactions.
  • State entities can no longer display or sell the Confederate flag or objects that show it, except for historical/educational purposes.
  • Large airports must designate a room located behind the security checkpoint for mothers who are breastfeeding—restrooms don’t count.
  • Students can be taught about mass killings, such as the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur and the massacre of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire. Education officials must now consider teaching lessons about these events.
  • The death certificates of transgender people will now list the gender the deceased person identified with.