The state of California has many new laws for 2012.
Among them, California students will be the first in the U.S. to receive mandatory classroom instruction about the contributions of gays and lesbians to the development of the United States. New laws applying to handguns, booster seats, cough medicine and employment credit checks are also in the mix of 2012 California laws.
List of new California laws:
Employment Credit Check Law
With a few exceptions, the use of consumer credit reports by employers when hiring will now be prohibited.
Schools will now be required to remove from play a student athlete who sustains a possible concussion, and mandates that the player receive medical clearance before returning to competition.
In an issue affecting undocumented immigrants, among others, law enforcement agencies will now be banned from impounding a vehicle at a sobriety checkpoint if the lack of a valid driver's license is the only offense.
All ballot initiatives will now be decided in the November general elections, which typically have a higher turnout -- and more liberal voters -- than June primaries.
Food and beverages
It will now be illegal to sell or distribute shark fins, a Chinese delicacy, due to the rampant slaughter of sharks.
Sale of caffeinated beer will now be illegal.
Stores will be banned from selling expired infant food and formula.
Child Booster Seat Law
The new California booster seat law requires that any child under 8 years old be secured in an appropriate child restraint meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards. The law does contain a provision, however, that a child under 8 years old who is 4'9" inches or taller may use a safety belt rather than a child safety seat or booster seat.
Tanning beds may not be used by anyone under 18.
Minors will need a prescription to buy any drug containing destromethorphan, an ingredient in many popular over-the-counter cough medicines including Robitussin, NyQuil and Dimetapp.
Women may take up to four months' pregnancy disability leave.
Government and third parties are prohibited from gathering information about what books you read or buy over the Internet, unless they obtain a court order.
Internet retailers must collect California sales tax on transactions if the retailer has a presence in the state, a measure that aims to protect local stores from unfair competition and increase revenues for cash-strapped California.
California Handgun Open Carry Law
Open-carry citizen handgun ban. Supported by police offices who cannot tell whether openly carried weapons are loaded. Violators pay $1,000 plus 6 months in jail. Gun rights advocates vow to carry rifles and shotguns instead. Californians can still get permits for concealed weapons.
California Gay Bullying Law (Seth's Law)
Combats bullying of gay and lesbian students in public schools by requiring school districts to have a uniform process for dealing with gay bullying complaints. Mandates that school personnel intervene if they witness gay bullying.
Protection of Parent-Child Relationships Law
Allows courts to consider the relationship between a child and a non-biological parent when considering child rights cases involving birth parents, adoptive parents, and gay or lesbian guardians.
California Renters Right to Recycling Law
Apartment building landlords will have to start providing recycling services for 7 million California tenants.
New Laws Already Enforced (2011)
California Male Circumcision Law
Local governments, such as cities and counties, can no longer ban infant male circumcision. Law effective immediately.
California Presidential Primary Law
The presidential primary has officially been moved from February to June. R
California National Popular Vote Law
All of California's 55 electoral votes will ultimately go to the winner of the popular vote in U.S. presidential elections.
For more information on California laws, visit the LegInfo.Ca.Gov