New California laws for 2015: Frogs, drones, Confederate flags
California has 930 new laws going into effect in 2015. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Twain’s frog is our state amphibian
The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), recognized by the federal government as a “threatened” species, becomes the official state amphibian. Mark Twain featured the creature in his story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”
Put away that Confederate flag
State entities are barred from displaying or selling copies of the Confederate flag or objects marked with it, unless the image appears in a book, digital medium or state museum for educational or historical purposes.
No holding mug shots hostage
Internet firms may no longer charge people who have been arrested a fee in exchange for removing their booking photos from a website.
Privacy rules for drones
Prosecution for invasion of privacy will be permitted when aerial drones are used to photograph or record another person in a private setting.
My 2 moms, my 2 dads, my 2 parents
Same-sex couples are allowed to identify themselves on state birth certificates as “father,” “mother” or the new gender-neutral option of “parent.”
Victory for ‘revenge porn’ victims
Victims of “revenge porn” can seek court orders to have sexually explicit photos posted by others removed from the Internet and to ask for damages.
Even selfies are covered
The law against posting sexually explicit photos of someone online as retaliation is extended to photos taken, though not posted, by the victim.
Gender identity for death certificates
Transgender Californians will be able to have the gender they identify with listed on their death certificates.
Breast-pumping stations mandated
Large airports in California must provide, behind the security screening and separate from restrooms, a room where women can express breast milk.
Buy it with bitcoin
Digital currencies including bitcoins will be legal for transactions in California.
Penalties eased for ‘willful’ defiance
Schools can no longer expel students who “willfully defy” teachers or administrators at any grade level and cannot suspend students for that misbehavior through third grade.
Ban on forced sterilization of inmates
State prisons may not force or coerce inmates to be sterilized unless the inmate’s life is in danger.
Armenian genocide in school curriculum
State education officials must consider incorporating lessons about the Armenian genocide and other mass killings, such as those in Rwanda and Darfur, into curriculum standards that will be updated in 2015. Lessons about genocide should include oral testimony from survivors, rescuers and witnesses.
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