What’s new in 2016…some laws and executive action

So how’s your first week of 2016 going?!  For me, so far, so good….a relaxing weekend and then back to work this past Monday.  As much as I love those two weeks off, it’s always nice to get up and get going every day, back into a routine.

I think the best, and most positive, part of the week was the unveiling by President Obama of his executive action to curb gun control.  Here are the highlights…

  • sellers at gun shows would have to register as licensed gun dealers
  • requires sellers at gun shows and online to do background checks (the fact that they don’t have to right now is absurd!)
  • Increase funding for enforcement agencies and mental health facilities

Yes, if a Republican wins the Presidency they can, and probably will, repeal these executive orders, but only a sitting President can do that.  Hopefully the American people will rally behind Obama’s executive actions and any new President will hear us loud and clear.  For more information watch Obama’s town hall meeting, “Guns in America,” tomorrow night on CNN (5pm P.T./8pm E.T.)  By the way, I’m not against the second amendment.  I have a very good friend who hunts and has many guns, but he is a responsible gun owner and he’s not the person I fear that buys guns at gun shows.  Why not add a little extra safety feature to the purchasing of a firearm….can’t hurt!

…and read up on this new group that may give the NRA a run for their money in the coming election year…LET’S HOPE SO!!  Everytown for Gun Safety, a group backed by billionaire former New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is seeking to be a counterweight to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying of state lawmakers. Both groups are expected to be active in legislatures in the coming year.

As you ease into 2016 I did a little research and thought I’d share a few new laws and bills that go into effect this year that might affect you…

California…

  • Doctors will be allowed to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. (This law takes effect 90 days after a special session on healthcare adjourns. That date has not yet been set, but the adjournment could happen as early as this month.)
  • The state suspends for three years California’s high school exit exam, which is normally a requirement for students to receive diplomas. The law also allows about 32,000 students who did not pass the exam, either since it became mandatory or during its early phase-in years, to receive diplomas so long as they have completed all other graduation requirements.
  • The state’s minimum wage increases from $9 to $10 per hour.
  • Requires the California Interscholastic Federation to develop guidelines to classify competition cheer as an official interscholastic sport.
  • City water agencies must examine their pipes and holding systems to determine whether they are vulnerable to damage in earthquakes.
  • …and here’s an important one!!…Designates lace lichen, commonly known as Spanish moss, as California’s official lichen.
  • One of only three states without a personal-belief exemption for parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. Children whose parents refuse to have them immunized against several diseases will not be allowed to enroll in public or private school and would instead have to be homeschooled. There is an exemption for children with serious health problems.

National/Other…

  • Fast-food workers in New York state will receive their first pay bump under a new law that eventually will push their minimum wage to $15. The full amount will kick in at the end of 2018 in New York City and 2021 in the rest of the state.
  • If you are traveling from Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington state, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands you may need more than your driver’s license to travel in 2016 according to the new guidelines set up by the Department of Homeland Security.  A secondary form of photo I.D. may be required, but there will be a three-month grace period from the time the DHS decides it will take effect.  Get out those passports!!

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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