New Year, New Laws


the State of Illinois

Elizabeth Reinhardt, Reporter

It’s a new year, and that means new laws for California citizens. As of Jan.1, over 900 new laws have been passed. That’s a lot to take in, so here are the top five new laws that affect the lives of young adults in California.

1.Kill Switches – After July 1, all smartphones sold in California are required to have a “kill switch.” These additions will allow owners to temporarily or permanently shut off their phone when stolen or lost. As SFGate states, “Consumers would be prompted to enable the kill switch as the default setting during the initial setup of a new smartphone.”

2. The Online Erase Button- This passing of this new law now allows minors to erase information from their accounts on  social media and online sites.”Kids and teens frequently self-reveal before they self-reflect,” Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, told The Huffington Post in a recent interview. “In today’s digital age, mistakes can stay with and haunt kids for their entire life.” With this new law, teens will be protected from bullying. It will also protect young adults from giving off a negative appearance to college admissions and employers due to their past mistakes.

3. Behaving Badly – Schools throughout California can no longer  expel students who “willfully defy” teachers or administration. As of January, Law AB-420 will “eliminate the authority to recommend for expulsion a pupil enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12,” states the California Government website, “for disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of those school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.” However this law is only effective in public schools; and since Presentation is a private catholic school, it does not apply to our students.That being said, you can tell all your friends in public school that they have nothing to worry about.

4.Yes Means Yes- Starting this year, University of California and California States University Schools are required to implement a “yes means yes” policy concerning sexual consent. This new law will also help to crack down on offenders regarding sexual harassment on college campuses. More colleges will be forced to take cases and the offenders to disciplinary court and to administer consequences, such as withholding a degree. Those schools that do not comply will lose state funding.

5. Saving Lives-  Under SB 1266, all school districts in California will be required to have their own stock of epinephrine auto injectors, or Epipens. This new law is meant to provide emergency medical services to children suffering a severe allergic reaction; helping to reduce the staggering numbers of children dying from food allergies in the recent years.