ATASCADERO — With the New Year comes a new batch of laws that will be taking effect in California. Dozens of new laws hitting the books Jan. 1 will affect everything from employment and health care to driving. The following are a few of the most important new laws that California residents need to know about.
The Three Feet for Safety Act will require all motorists to pass bicycles with no less than three feet between any part of their vehicle and any part of the bicycle or rider. If three feet of distance is not possible, drivers will be required to slow down to a reasonable speed and only pass when there is not danger to the bicyclist. Failing to do so will result in a fine regardless if there is a collision or not.
Effective Jan. 1 the minimum wage in California will increase from $8 per hour to $9 per hour. Employers who fail to pay the new minimum wage will be liable for liquidated damages to the employee in addition to existing penalties.
The minimum wage is set to go up again next year to $10 per hour.
Atascadero Chamber of Commerce President Linda Hendy says the rise in wages could “put on the brakes a little bit for the local economy” and could cause local employers to be less likely to bring on new hires.
Pamela Keuter, owner of local business Candy Carousel, says she is happy to increase the pay of her employees.
“This isn’t really going to hurt me,” she said. “It will definitely take a bite out of my income, but it’s a bite I’m willing to pay. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think they should raise it to $15 an hour, that would be more realistic to what the price of living is today.” For the complete article see the 12-31-2013 issue.
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