Fountain Valley School bus on the move. Photo by Jake Winkle
Fountain Valley High School

A new year with new laws

After last year’s elections, many laws were decided that went into effect at the beginning of 2017. While many are lost in a sea of fine print, there are many that will affect some citizens very directly.

In businesses with over 26 people on the pay roll, minimum wage increases from $10 to $10.50 an hour. This is part of the initiative that is slowly trying to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022. This law could very well affect many students who are currently working at establishments that satisfy this requirement.

Drivers for popular services like Uber and or Lyft will now be subject to more comprehensive background checks. They will be screening out any former sex offenders, those convicted with a violent felony, and anyone who has ever received a DUI. Many of the students at Fountain Valley High School frequent these apps, and part of the reason for this law is to assure a safer ride and give peace of mind to some of the younger users of these apps.

Homeless students who are enrolled in community colleges courses are now allowed to use some of the facilities at the schools. This law’s main purpose is to allow disadvantaged students to shower on campus and motivate more homeless citizens to pursue an education.

Another law that affects students of Fountain Valley will be a ban on smartphone use. Previously it was illegal to text and drive but now a smartphone can not be used while driving unless it is mounted to the dashboard and only requires simple motions to be interacted with.

Finally a law that many students are especially anxious to see be passed are the new gun regulations for California. With the increasingly regular amount of shootings in schools and public places, new gun laws will place a ban on certain rifles that have a fast reload mechanism as well as other assault rifles. While guns can’t be confiscated, guns that match the description must be registered with the justice department.

In addition to this, firearms can’t be loaned to non-family members and guns must be securely locked in cars and later this year there will be a ban on magazines that carry more than 10 rounds.

–Tejas Chadha, writer