Hundreds of new laws kick in today

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SAC­RA­MENTO — In 2012, the gov­ernor and Le­gis­lature over­hauled Cali­for­nia’s pub­lic pen­sion and work­ers’ com­pens­a­tion sys­tems. They made it il­leg­al to carry rifles openly in cit­ies. They al­lowed cer­tain il­leg­al im­mig­rants to ob­tain driver’s li­censes and qual­i­fy for state col­lege fin­an­cial aid.

Voters made laws, too, ap­prov­ing Gov. Jerry Brown’s tem­por­ary quarter-cent hike in the sales tax, among oth­er meas­ures, in a bid to help re­solve Cali­for­nia’s dire fisc­al situ­ation.

drivers-licnseIn all, more than 750 new laws take ef­fect Jan.1.

Con­tro­versy sur­roun­ded the bid to per­mit per­haps hun­dreds of thou­sands of young il­leg­al im­mig­rants to qual­i­fy for state driver’s li­censes. The new law ap­plies to those giv­en a work per­mit as part of an Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­gram that sus­pends de­port­a­tion for many people who ar­rived il­leg­ally as chil­dren.

Also con­ten­tious was the Dream Act, ap­proved in 2011 but tak­ing ef­fect today, al­low­ing stu­dents in the coun­try il­leg­ally to re­ceive tax­pay­er-fin­anced aid to at­tend uni­versit­ies and col­leges. The Cali­for­nia Stu­dent Aid Com­mis­sion ex­pects about 20,000 people to ap­ply for such as­sist­ance,said ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or Di­ana Fuentes-Michel.


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