New California laws take effect January 1, 2015

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Several new California laws take effect in 2015, including one that makes driver's licenses available for undocumented immigrants. (KABC)

Several new laws take effect in the new year, including one that makes driver's licenses available for undocumented immigrants.

Starting Friday, California DMV offices will begin issuing driver's licenses to people in the country illegally.

Under AB 60, applicants must prove who they are, that they live in California and pass the driving tests. A new law will also provide access to auto insurance.

DMV officials say they expect about 1.4 million undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver's license in the first three years.

Other California laws taking effect in 2015:

  • Undocumented immigrants or students who overstayed their visas will have access to the same loan opportunities as other students at the Cal State University and University of California systems.

  • New California law will help children who arrived illegally without their parents by providing $3 million in legal aid to help the children as they go through the legal system.

  • A ballot initiative approved by voters in 2008 takes effect restricting the confinement of egg-laying hens, breeding sows and veal calves. Eggs that are sold in California must now come from hens that have enough space to stand, turn and stretch their limbs. The Humane Society of the United States says the law goes further than any in the country when coupled with a law signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that extends the space requirements for egg-laying hens to out-of-state suppliers.

  • A "yes means yes" standard for sex between college students takes effect, requiring "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity," meaning silence or a lack of resistance can no longer be deemed consent.

  • In the face of a three-year drought, water districts and other local entities will be required to develop plans to manage their groundwater and allow the state to intervene if necessary.

  • Law enforcement agencies are required to develop policies that encourage officers to search the state's database of gun purchases as part of routine welfare checks. The bill was prompted by sheriff's deputies' failure to detect the danger posed by a man who weeks later embarked on a deadly rampage in May near the UC Santa Barbara.

  • Later this year, large grocery stores and pharmacies won't be allowed to give out single-use plastic bags. Already, more than a 120 cities or counties in California have a ban on plastic bans, but the statewide ban will go into effect on July 1.

  • Also in July, anyone who works at least 30 days will be entitled to three days paid sick leave.

  • The Associated Press contributed to this report.


    Related Topics:
    politicsimmigrationimmigration reformlegalCalifornia
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