Sex, Drugs, Money, Cars and Politics

By | December 28, 2016 at 5:20 am | No comments | Columns, Haddon Libby, Week 12/29 2016 - 01/04 2017

If 2017 is a New Year and we still have sex, drugs, money, cars and politicians, you can be sure that there will be new laws going into effect.  Below are some of California’s latest and greatest laws on the books:

Sex:

People under 18 years of age who are prostitutes are no longer considered criminals, but instead classified as victims who cannot be arrested for prostitution.  While this sounds compassionate to those victims, this seems like a law that will cause more prostitution amongst young adults.

Mandatory minimum sentences for prostitution-related offenses have been removed.  Instead, judges can apply sentencing guidelines as they see fit.

Due to the Bill Cosby cases, California is lifting the statute of limitations on rape cases going forward.  Now if you raped someone before this year, the state has to bring charges within ten years of the offense or the victim’s fortieth birthday. 

If you commit a sexual crime against an unconscious person, starting in 2017 you will have a minimum sentence.  Even the possession of date rape drugs can be considered a felony.

Drugs:

It will be easier for pharmacies to sell epi-pens to any place of congregation like a school or a sports facility so that they are prepared for allergic reactions.  This was done in reaction to the outrageous price increases by epi-pen manufacturer Mylan.

Starting this year, Californians who are at risk of dying from their ailments can try drugs that have not fully cleared the FDA vetting process. 

Money:

The minimum wage for businesses with more than 26 employees becomes $10.50.  If you have 25 or fewer, this wage increase does not begin until 2018.

Women on welfare who get pregnant while on welfare will be able to get benefits for that new child.  In the past, children born while on welfare were excluded.

Law enforcement can no longer hold onto property taken in an arrest so long as it is under $40,000 in value. Termed “asset forfeiture”, law enforcement will need a conviction to hold onto the property.

A new law bans most loans made to purchase guns. 

In an odd change, municipalities can finance elections.  The idea is that this could eliminate the role of money-raising in elections.  Without knowing the details, I can say with certainty that this will not work and will probably cause more problems in the election process than it solves.

Cars:

While driving, you cannot touch your phone more than once and the phone needs to be mounted on your dash or window if you are going to do that.  From now on, you essentially cannot touch or hold your phone.  The first infraction is a $20 fine followed by $50 fines for future offenses.

Children under eight years of age must ride in the back seat while children under two years of age must be in rear-facing child seats.

If you see a dog locked in a hot car, you can call the police and take action to free the animal. 

Politics:

When voting by mail, if you choose to hand in your ballot, you can do this at any election office in the state.   Also, if you take a picture of yourself voting in a ballot booth, that is no longer illegal. 

Starting this year, you can register to vote on the day of the election.

Anyone who has been convicted of a felony who is not on jail or on probation can once again vote.

If you work for the state, you are no longer required to attend events in states that allow discrimination.  At present, this is limited to North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Haddon Libby is a Financial Advisor and Managing Partner at Winslow Drake and can be reached at 760.449.6349 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.

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