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New year means new laws taking effect

Thursday, January 01, 2009

by Dana Yates, San Mateo Daily Journal

The message is clear today: Put your cell phone down while driving.

Beginning today, text messaging while driving is against the law and carries with it a $20 to $50 fine. The new law, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, closes the technology loophole left after the hands-free cell phone law went into effect last year.

The new law is just one of the 834 bills signed into law in 2008 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. New federal, state and local laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2009 range from the naming of Devil’s Slide tunnel to the second consecutive year of minimum wage increases.

A few of those laws were ideas suggested to state Simitian through his annual “There Oughta Be A Law” contest. Simitian passed 14 bills, including ones that regulate deceptive sweepstakes practices and expands the small business loan program.

Full article on San Mateo Daily Journal website