New rules: retirement benefits, foreclosures, sexual abuse reports

capitolCalifornia legislators passed more than 740 new laws that take effect in the new year. Mind boggling to consider. Here are just a few –

Public employees hired in the new year have to wait up to the age of 67 for their maximum retirement benefits. This move is expected to save the state retirement system $78 billion over 30 years.

Drivers are now allowed to dictate, send and listen to text-based communications. They must use voice command or other hands-free technologies.

Who knew this one?  State lawmakers no longer get a discount on vanity license plates.

As we have already reported, California residents can now sell certain home-cooked foods directly to consumers, restaurants or grocery stores under local permits.

California landlords may not require rent be paid online.

A new law bans foreclosures on borrowers who are in the midst of loan modification proceedings. Banks must provide a single point of contact for homeowners who want to negotiate loan modifications.

The list of those who must legally report suspected child abuse has expanded to include elementary and secondary school coaches, college employees who interact with minors and some others.

California Fish and Game now must legally provide greater emphasis on conservation, and the agency’s name has changed to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. This switch may impact how Fish and Game deals with bears, mountain lions and other wildlife here in the Eastern Sierra. Last year, Fish and Game continued to attract sharp local criticism for what members of the public have called a lack of humane handling of animals.

A program is in the works but not final for creating a retirement savings program for private sector employees.

After the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve was nearly closed last year along with some 70 other state parks, a new law requires the State Parks Department to find new ways to raise money.

That’s just a few of the new laws on the books that may interest you.

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