It's not just pot: California's legislating guns, tampons and diaper changes in 2018

Welcome to the new California, where you can smoke weed just for fun and change babies' diapers in the men's room....

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 1:59 AM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 1:59 AM

Welcome to the new California, where you can smoke weed just for fun and change babies' diapers in the men's room.

But there's a lot more changing than just regulations about baby-changing tables and marijuana sales in 2018. Here's a look at the new laws now in effect in the country's most populous state:

Companies now aren't allowed to ask your salary history in California

New law says men must have access to diaper-changing stations in large buildings

New salary rules

In California, employers can no longer ask about your prior salary -- thereby preventing them from using your salary history to decide whether to make you a job offer or to determine how much to offer you.

The law is intended to narrow the gender pay gap.

Job applicants can also request the pay scale for a position.

Free feminine hygiene products in schools

For many teenage girls, having access to tampons and sanitary pads is a given. But for low-income students, a lack of feminine hygiene products impacts their education, said Cristina Garcia, who authored Assembly Bill 10.

"I've heard stories from many young girls that struggle with their period on a monthly basis, affecting their schooling, morale, and health," Garcia said.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law, meaning public schools with students from grades 6 to 12 which have a 40% student poverty rate must have free feminine hygiene products in restrooms.

Baby-changing tables in men's rooms

Speaking of restrooms, fathers will no longer struggle to find a place in public facilities to change their babies' diapers.

The passage of Assembly Bill 1127 means shopping malls, sports arenas and other large buildings must have diaper-changing stations in men's restrooms or in places accessible to both men and women.

Some criminals must give up guns

Californians approved Proposition 63, which means anyone convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors must give up their firearms.

In addition, online ammunition purchases will be shipped to a licensed vendor -- not directly to a buyer's home, CNN affiliate KRON reported.

Job protection for parents in small businesses

Millions of parents who work for small businesses will now be able to take 12 weeks off to take care of newborns -- without worrying about losing their jobs for doing so.

The New Parent Leave Act gives three months of unpaid maternity and paternity leave to parents who work at businesses with 20 to 49 employees.

"We are in the midst of a paradigm shift right now, one in which both parents often work and shoulder caregiving responsibilities," said the bill's author, Hannah-Beth Jackson. "No one should have to choose between caring for their newborn and keeping their job."

Sanctuary state status

After a year of controversy over sanctuary cities, California is reinforcing its reputation as a "sanctuary state."

Both state and local law enforcement agencies will not be allowed to use their funds or personnel to investigate, detain or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes.

Unofficially called a "sanctuary state" bill, supporters such as the governor said it "prohibits the commandeering of local officials to do the work of immigration agents."

But critics say it limits cooperation between federal agencies and local law enforcement.

Recreational pot

In case you've been living under a rock (and not getting stoned), California just legalized recreational marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. That means you don't need a medical card anymore.

Who gets the dog in a divorce and other new state laws across the US

But even though Proposition 64 was approved back in 2016, you might not immediately see pot on store shelves statewide because businesses have to apply for a state license to sell it.

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