List of New California Laws for 2012

State cuts sharks a break in 2012. Among the other new laws are those applying to credit checks, tanning beds, child booster seats, caffeinated beer and sobriety checkpoints.

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.

Sobriety checkpoints

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

shelly January 04, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Capo Mom, Teaching tolerance is not a bad thing. Tolerance 1.a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
Pam Sunderman January 04, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Thanks to shelly and Lewis for sharing the correct information about Seth's Law. I support this law as written. It says nothing about religion, sexual practices, or teaching either. Perhaps it would be helpful for the Patch to post links to the source when they report on controversial subjects...thus saving us all from unnecessary trips down the road of intolerance.
Seth Eaker January 04, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Links may be helpful. I know that I wrote a piece about Seth's Law for Patch. Here it is: http://losalamitos.patch.com/blog_posts/seths-law-is-good-for-schools I still stand by my position from June 4th. Bullying is not acceptable for anyone. It is interesting to see so many of the comments. I agree with jollygirl, that I hope all of the readers avoid intolerance generally.
Alty48 April 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM
The American Constitution and every Supreme Court since the founding has determined that there will be a separation between church and state. That is the law of the land for more than 200 years. The Constitution says nothing about the separation of gays and state.
Joker Joe April 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
southcountynative Glad we have a cents of humor..... Thanks for noticing.


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