Gov. Jerry Brown signs several bills into law

October 10, 2011 1:48:01 PM PDT
Today, there are dozens of new laws on the books in California -- all signed by Governor Brown last night.

Doctors, patients, parents and insurance companies are sorting out the significance of three major healthcare bills. First, Governor Brown has made it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a tanning bed, even if mom or dad says it's OK. California is the first state to enact such a law. Second, insurance companies have to cover autism and other developmental disorders. And finally, girls as young as 12-years-old can now get the HPV vaccine without parental consent. Human Papilloma Virus is sexually transmitted and causes cervical cancer. Some worry girls might think the vaccine gives them license to have unsafe sex. And, at least one religious group believes vaccinating should be up to parents.

"The concern is about parental rights and this bill takes the parents out of making important health care decisions for their kids," said Billy May of Catholics for the Common Good.

One of the last-minute bills the governor signed makes it illegal to openly carry an unloaded weapon in public. This one will surely see some push-back by gun advocates. Anyone caught violating the AB 144 faces up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 in fines.

Earlier this year, gun advocates organized open-carry demonstrations in the East Bay, where several people intentionally displayed their unloaded guns in public places like coffee shops and restaurants. Gun-rights advocates argue they have the right to carry the weapons under the Second Amendment, but, the governor sided with law enforcement.

Police chiefs and sheriffs, namely in Los Angeles, argued it was not safe to have people walking around, openly carrying guns. They said it could spark violence and waste officers' time responding to false calls.

All of the new laws take effect January 1st.


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