How California’s new laws could change your life in 2018

Every year, the California Legislature passes hundreds of bills, ranging from technical clarifications to funding proposals that keep the state running. How have they changed your world this time? Here are some of the new laws – the useful, the controversial, and the downright quirky – taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Hiring

A prospective employer will no longer be able to decide how much money to offer you by asking what you made at your last job. Under Assembly Bill 168, the salary history of job applicants can only be disclosed voluntarily. Supporters say the law could help women close the persistent gender pay gap. Assembly Bill 1008 aims to improve employment prospects for formerly incarcerated job seekers by banning the box on applications that asks about criminal conviction history. It builds on a 2013 law for public employment in California, expanding the policy to cover most private companies in the state as well. Employers will still be able to conduct a background check once a conditional offer has been made, but the law, which is part of a national ban-the-box movement, is meant to give former convicts a better opportunity to be considered on their merits before they are judged for past mistakes.

Elections

Get ready for a new era of voting in California: Senate Bill 450, which passed in 2016, does away with neighborhood polling places and replaces them with elections conducted primarily by mail. It represents another effort to boost sagging voter participation. Under the system, which Sacramento is among the first counties to adopt, every registered voter will receive a mail ballot. Drop-off locations will be available up to four weeks before election day, and temporary regional “vote centers” will open 10 days ahead of time to register voters and accept ballots. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee