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26 New Laws Go On the Books in Brown’s Bill-Signing Flurry

| September 27, 2013
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Gov. Jerry Brown signed domestic worker bill. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed 26 new state laws. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Another day, another 26 new state laws.

That’s the total number of bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday. Since Monday, Brown has signed 77 new laws and vetoed four measures. The rapid-fire pace will continue through Oct. 13: Brown still needs to approve or reject more than 400 bills lawmakers sent to him during the 2013 legislative session.

Among the more far-reaching bills approved by Brown this week: a measure increasing California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016, and a bill mandating overtime pay for domestic workers in private households.

The domestic overtime bill is one of several measures that Brown vetoed in 2012 but approved this year. The same goes for a new law requiring passing drivers to give bicycles a 3-foot buffer zone. Supporters of undocumented immigrants’ rights are hoping that trend will continue with the so-called TRUST Act, which would bar police from turning people over to immigration authorities unless they’ve been convicted of violent crimes.

“I’m calling the psychic hotline” for clues on whether Brown will sign it, sponsor Tom Ammiano told KQED.

Friday’s new laws also include:

KQED’s Mina Kim spoke with KQED’s Sacramento Bureau Chief Scott Detrow about some of the new rules going into effect in California.

MINA KIM: Scott, some of the big ones this week were, of course, the minimum wage bill and the domestic workers bill.

SCOTT DETROW: That’s right. California has an $8 minimum wage now, and the bill the Gov. Brown signed this week will increase that to $10 by 2016. That would give California the highest minimum wage in the country. And the domestic workers overtime bill will guarantee overtime pay for people who work more than nine hours per day, or 45 hours a week.

A bill similar to that was vetoed last year, but Brown supported this one. It is a bit limited, of course. Babysitters, for example, would not be included in these overtime hours.

KIM: And it strips out meal and rest breaks, I understand.

DETROW: That’s correct.

KIM: Some of the bills important to us regionally Brown signed today, like the mattress-recycling bill.

DETROW: That’s right. That’s a bill that East Bay Senator Loni Hancock had been pushing for. This creates a process for recycling used mattresses. The concern is that people currently will just dump these mattresses in alleyways and vacant lots, and this is going to put in place a statewide mattress-recycling program. It will, of course, also increase the price of mattresses by a little bit, because the program will be funded by a new fee that goes on mattress purchases.

Another bill that Gov. Brown signed creates a three-foot buffer zone for drivers who are passing bicyclists. This is something that supporters have been trying to put in place for several years, and it’s another bill that Gov. Brown vetoed last year, but they made some changes and he supported it this time around.

A third bill that’s getting some attention allows people under the age of 18 essentially have a do-over on social media. If somebody under 18 wants to delete a specific social media post, companies will now have to comply. Critics say this is not the most effective bill in the world though. For one thing, many of these companies already do allow you to delete posts, and the bigger issue is that if I post something that’s embarrassing to myself and I want it deleted, I can have it deleted, but this does not control reposts or retweets from other people. So, this doesn’t really help you if you’re trying to rein in a viral post you wish you hadn’t put online.

KIM: And there were also two bills that related to basketball.

DETROW: That’s right. Bills that the governor signed lay the groundwork for the Golden State Warriors to move across the Bay to San Francisco, and also for the Sacramento Kings to build a brand-new arena in downtown Sacramento. The Kings bill was controversial when it was passed earlier this month because it creates exemptions from he statewide CEQA environmental quality act. This will basically streamline the process for the Kings to get a new arena in place, and of course this was a very key component in keeping the Kings in Sacramento, and not moving them to Seattle, which almost happened this year.

KIM: And Scott, we’re only at the halfway mark before the Oct. 13 deadline. What are some of the hot-button bills in the stack of pending legislation?

DETROW: Sure. There are more than 400 bills that the governor needs to weigh in on either way. A lot of the notable bills that he has not said whether or not he will sign have to do with immigrants. The most high-profile is the TRUST Act by supporters, and it tells local police officers to not turn over undocumented immigrants to federal immigration authorities unless they have violent crimes on their record.

Other bills would let non-citizens sit on juries or practice law in California. Those are certainly some of the measures we’re keeping our eyes on as the governor’s office keeps sending out these updates – sometimes two or three a day – saying here are the bills we signed, and here are the bills we vetoed.

KIM: Most of these new laws will take effect in January of next year?

DETROW: That’s right. The bulk of them do go into effect on Jan. 1, but not all of them. The minimum wage bill – the first increase happens next July, and then it’ll go up to $10 in 2016. And the mattress-recycling program is another one that will take several years to phase in.

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About the Author ()

Sacramento bureau chief Scott Detrow covers state government, politics and policy for KQED News and its statewide news program, The California Report. Before joining KQED, Scott reported on Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom for NPR's StateImpact project. Reach Scott Detrow at sdetrow@kqed.org.

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