New Year brings new laws


Eddy Cordero

A new state law increases the minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21 years old.

Emmy Burrus, Co Editor-in-Chief

A new year means new laws for California.

From banning plastic straws to raising the minimum wage, these new laws cover a broad range of categories.

One of the most talked about of these new laws prevents dine-in restaurants from giving customers plastic straws unless asked for one.

“I feel that we need to consid- er our environment a lot more strongly than we previously have, ” said American govern- ment teacher Tasneem Khan, who supports the law.

Khan and many others believe the ban on plastic straws is a step in the right direction.

Sophomore Natalie Kuang said she appreciates how this new law is taking the country’s future into account.

Another law that has been a prominent topic of discussion is the increase in minimum wage. This law raises the minimum wage for companies with 25 or fewer employees to $11, and companies with 26 or more employees to $12.

This new law is especially appealing to teenagers.

“High school’s an importanttime for people to get their rst jobs,” leadership advisor Ross Dautel said.

In high school, students want to be able to earn money for hanging out with friends, going out to eat, or attending events.

“Everyone wants to get jobs at our age,” junior Shelby Peebles said.

There are also new laws in place about ride-hailing apps that require companies such as Uber and Lyft to meet higher emission standards, increase their number of zero-emission vehicles, and encourage pas- sengers to carpool.

A related law requires employees of ride-hailing apps to provide their passenger with their name, a photo of the vehicle, and license plate number to help passengers feel safer.

Because so many young people use Uber and Lyft, this new law should make an impact.

“It’ll make people feel safer, [when using these companies] especially if they’re out of their element,” Kuang said.

Another law involving trans- portation requires minors under age 18 to wear a helmet when riding a scooter, bicycle, skate- board, or skates. This will affect a large portion of Cal students who ride their bicycles or skate- boards to school.

“[It’s] another step within that arena [of public safety] where any sort of activity with a wheel is mandated,” AP

Government teacher Brandon Andrews said.

Prospective drivers, includ- ing teens, no longer have to choose between male and female when applying for a driver’s license or stateidenti cation card thanks toanother new law that now offers a third-gender category: non-binary.

“[The law] won’t make peo- ple pick between something they’re not,” freshman Marc Rosellini said.

Dautel believes the law shows that people are more aware of gender as a spectrum.

There are a few new laws aimed specifically at high school students.

Another law states that public schools cannot withhold di- plomas of graduating students who have past-due bus fares, overdue library books, or unpaid

“Now people who can’t pay

the fee for an overdue library book can still get their diploma,” Rosellini said.

Also in regards to education, another law will grant deported seniors their high school diplo- mas. Even if someone has been deported, a high-school diploma from the United States can open up jobs and more opportunities for them.

High school students are also affected by the increase of theminimum age to buy a ri e orshotgun from 18 to 21 years old.

Now, there is no chance that anyone still in high school couldlegally buy a ri e or a shotgunin the state.

“[The law will] make us feel safer at school,” Rosellini said. Some high school students could be affected by one law which moves up California’s 2020 presidential primary to the first Tuesday in March. Now, some high schoolers who could’ve voted in the 2020 primary won’t be able to.

While these laws help to improve the state, further measures can always be taken.

“I think these laws are a step in the right direction, but things could always be better,” Kuang said.