Gas tax hike, later start-to-school hours among new California mandates taking effect in July


Two new California laws go into effect within days when the calendar turns to July, along with a steep 3-cent gas tax increase at the pump.

Senate Bill 328 will see students statewide start class at a later date.

Although elementary schools are not affected by SB 328, middle and high schools will no longer be allowed to start classes before 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., respectively.

The bill does not prohibit schools from offering programs, lessons and activities to a limited number of students before the official start of the school day as long as they do not generate average daily attendance for the purposes of distribute state funding.

SB 328 was passed by the legislature in 2019 in an effort to give students more time to sleep.

Rural school districts are exempt from early start times under the law.

Another major law taking effect July 1 will impact ghost guns across the state.

Assembly Bill 1057, signed into law last October, will expand California’s red flag laws to allow family members, teachers, co-workers and employers to petition a judge for ghost guns to be seized to someone they consider a danger to themselves or the Public.

Ghost guns – untraceable firearms that don’t have a serial number and are assembled at home – have seen increased use in recent years with the use of technologies such as 3D printing.

A notable incident of phantom weapon use was the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita.