New Year, New Laws: California's 2010 Rulebook

Cows benefit, criminals pay with new state laws

On January 1 many new laws will go into effect in California. A whole alphabet of them, in fact, according to the Merced Sun-Star's A-Z list.

A scan of the list elicits a variety of responses -- from relief to head-scratching. Here's a sampling, as categorized by us.

Obviously Important

Law SB 572 designates May 22nd as Harvey Milk Day and requires schools to observe the birth date of the assassinated gay rights leader as a "day of special significance."

AB 305 puts people in jail if they are convicted of knowingly failing to report oil spills, or lying about them.

This is Legal Today?

AB 1015 makes it a misdemeanor to sell or give nitrous oxide -- aka "laughing gas" -- to a minor. Duh.

Least Likely to Be Observed

Law AB 62 will allow people to drive vehicles with video screens operating in the front seat… so long as the driver can't see them. And if the Super Bowl is on while people are stuck in traffic, we're sure no one will take a peek.

Why Would Someone Do This Anyway?

Law SB 527 will allow the operation of bikes without seats on state roads, as long as the bike was built that way on purpose. The above question is officially begged.

Down With Animals

SB 609 will extend a law that allows the importation of products made with alligator and crocodile parts.

Up With Animals

SB 135 makes it a misdemeanor to chop off a cow's tail, except for when it's medically necessary.

For the complete list of the 2010 laws that may or may not affect you directly, click here.

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