Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

Dec 27, 2014 11:51 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's drought prompted the Legislature into action in 2014, leading lawmakers to regulate groundwater for the first time and override homeowners associations that fine members for replacing lawns with more drought-tolerant landscaping.

California also becomes the first state to set a "yes means yes" standard for sex between college students and the first to ban single-use plastic bags, a law the plastic bag industry is seeking to overturn through a referendum.

Those are among more than 900 bills passed in 2014 by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Most take effect Jan. 1. They include a bill allowing driver's licenses for people in the country illegally, another that will influence the 2016 ballot by modernizing California's initiative process and others addressing everything from teacher tenure to massage parlors.

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