2016 Changes in California Law Affecting Seniors

Each year, many new laws take effect in California, and 2016 is no different. Governor Jerry Brown, elected to an unprecedented fourth term to end his career as chief executive of the state, signed more than nine hundred bills into law, while vetoing 143. Some were disapproved due to the financial burden they would impose, others for the lack of clear benefits that would result from the law and still more because of the likelihood of unneeded regulations resulting from the proposal.

A few of these bills became law in late 2015, most went into effect on January 1, 2016, while some will come online during the year. Here’s a quick look at some of the new laws of special interest to seniors:

Plastic grocery bags: The proposed prohibition of plastic grocery bags has been delayed due to requests made to decide the issue by ballot in a referendum. Should this vote make the November 2016 election, any ban on the bags will wait until after the vote.

El Toro Marine Corps Air Station Veterans’ Cemetery: Work will now begin on the creation of the new facility.

Loss of License of Care Facility: Anyone who has had their license to operate a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) revoked due to their abandoning of the facility is now forever not eligible to renew a license to operate.

License Violations: Any RCFE notified of a license deficiency must rectify the situation within 10 days.

Carbon Monoxide Emissions: All care facilities, such as but not limited to, child care and RCFE, are now required to have a minimum of one carbon monoxide warning device installed.

Blockage of Further Clients at RCFEs with Violations: Any further admittance to any care facility with outstanding license violations may be curtailed.

Veteran’s Assistance with Legal Problems: This law stipulates diversion programs for both active duty and veteran armed forces members when they are involved in misdemeanor crimes and/or there is duty-linked trauma or drug-related issues.

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