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Tipsheet

Guess Which State Leads the Way in the Number of New Laws Taking Effect in the New Year?

The People's Republic of California really needs to lock it up. Can it be a coincidence that the literal most legislation-happy state in the country boasts one of the highest state unemployment rates and some of the largest shares of debt per capita? What a mess:

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The legislature passed 750 bills last year, most of them set to become law on Jan. 1. ...

Firearms: With some exceptions, it will be illegal to openly carry an unloaded handgun. Californians will still be able to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.

Child Prostitution: Increases fines and penalties for those seeking to procure the services of a minor for prostitution.

Alcohol: Prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages at self-service checkout stands.

Bullying: Requires schools to have a uniform process for dealing with bullying complaints. Goes into effect July 1.

Besides the prohibiting open carry, banning the use of tanning beds for minors, and other royally stupid and vexing nanny-state laws, there are plenty of regulations in the queue set to put a damper on small business owners:

As of January, employers will be banned from checking the credit of non-managerial employees and job applicants. There are some exceptions, including employees who handle confidential information.

Businesses will be required to provide new hires with additional, more detailed information about their pay and other matters, such as contact information for the workers' compensation insurance carrier. ...

And a new law boosts the penalty for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor — a hot-button issue in California.

All in all, the new rules — whether state or federal — are not welcomed by many small business owners, especially if they add paperwork and scrutiny.

"Controls are important, but [regulators] made it impossible for us," said Joanne Weinoe, owner of Golden State Magnetic & Penetrant Lab Inc. in Arleta. "At what point do they not realize we are the ones keeping everything going?"

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And yet, astoundingly, the Obama administration seems bound and determined to follow the Californian model, continually introducing new laws and regulations and watching the economy struggle accordingly, instead of considering the struggling state as an example of what not to do. Go figure.

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