Reminder, I am going to be in Los Angeles later this month, from the 25th to the 31st. Things are a tad eventful there at the moment. In Pasadena, there are Recall Walker petitions being circulated by visiting Wisconsin Badger fans. In Hollywood, everything's on fire; an arsonist or perhaps a group of arsonists have now set more of the city ablaze than at any time since the Rodney King riots. And in South LA, some guy fired a gun into the air to celebrate New Year's and the bullet crashed through someone's roof and hit another guy in the leg.
Meanwhile, a lot of laws take effect on January 1st; it's a convenient default date when something isn't supposed to take effect immediately, so when they don't, that's generally going to be the go-to date. Because clearly we're focusing on California today, here is a rundown of what takes effect today in California. Among the highlights (the full list is here in a PDF file):
*Californians can't carry handguns openly in public anymore.
*They can't buy alcohol at the self-checkout.
*You can't sell beer to which caffeine has been added as a separate ingredient, on the basis that that stuff will mess you up good.
*You can, however, inject fruits and veggies into the drink now.
*Health insurers have to cover autism.
*You can't sell shark fins for food (except for the ones you bought prior to January 1).
*You have to put your kid in a booster seat until age 8 or until the child hits a height of 4'11".
*If a state park's about to be closed for budgetary problems, nonprofits can step in and save it.
*$4 million is made available to start work on high-speed rail from Los Angeles to San Diego.
*Employers can't look at credit ratings anymore when making employment decisions.
*Food stamp recipients no longer have to be fingerprinted.
*Farmers get a tax credit for donating crops to food banks.
*You can't sell expired baby food or baby formula.
*Schools can suspend students for cyber-bullying.
*A third DUI in a ten-year period can now result in your license being revoked for up to a decade.
*You can't sell live animals on the side of the road.
*Doctors can't prescribe anything to workers-comp patients where they have a financial interest.
*Missing-persons reports have to be filed for people 21 or under now, as opposed to the previous 16 or under.
*If you're an elected official and you get caught claiming military decorations you don't have, you're fired. Technically it's a forced resignation, but in essence, you're fired.
Which totally crimps my vacation plans to sell arson-smoked de-finned pet sharks to a food bank on Hollywood and Highland, complete with self-serve double-caff minibar.