New California Laws That Will Affect Campuses in 2017

Here’s the latest legislation affecting campuses along with some of the possible reasons for their passage.

A series of bills were signed into California law in 2016 that will affect campus environments in the state.

To help our readers from the Golden State keep up with the latest legislation, we’ve listed some of the most notable new laws below (with some help from the Los Angeles Times). Feel free to email us or leave a comment below if you think we missed anything!

Mandatory Sentences for Certain Assaults: People convicted of assault when the victim was unconscious or not capable of giving consent because of intoxication will now face mandatory prison time.

The law, which could drastically change sentences for some students convicted of assault, is largely seen as a response to the six-month sentence given to former Stanford student Brock Turner. Statutes of limitation for rapes occurring after Dec. 31, 2016, were also eliminated.

School Bus Safety Measures Passed: A new law will require charter buses, including those employed by schools, to be equipped with emergency lighting that would be automatically activated in the event of a collision.

All school buses, youth buses and child care motor vehicles must also install alert systems that will require drivers to manually disarm or scan an alarm in the back of the bus before exiting.

The laws are seen as responses to a charter bus crash that killed 10 people, including five high school students, in 2014, and an incident when a special needs student died after being left in a sweltering school bus with the windows closed in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. School bus drivers must also pass additional training programs to prevent students from being left behind on buses.

RELATED: Tenn. Bus Driver Charged in Fatal School Bus Crash

Expulsion Permitted for Bullying and Sexting: Public schools can now expel students for bullying through video or sexting. Education officials will also be encouraged to teach students about the dangers of sexting and will be required to publish information on sexual cyberbullying online.

Ransomware Now a Crime: It is officially a state crime to use ransomware, malware or other intrusive software to infect a computer or network and restrict access to data until money is paid. The law comes as ransomware attacks have become more common against schools, universities and hospitals.

Certain Semi-Automatic Rifles Banned: Semi-automatic rifles featuring a “bullet button” that allows users to quickly remove ammunition magazines will no longer be sold. People who own these rifles must register them with the state. The law is seen as a response to mass shootings in which the perpetrators used such weapons.

A universal concealed carry permit will also be created in the state so licenses don’t vary from county to county.

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