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5 Laws Making Life Better for Kids in 2017

Look for these "For Kids" laws to take effect this year.

Topics: California

New year, new rules! As we celebrate the new year, here are five "For Kids" laws making California a healthier and more supportive state for kids and families in 2017:

  1. Minimum Wage Is Going Up: Working families will get a boost as the minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour. And, by 2022, the minimum wage will rise to $15. When nearly half of California kids live in families that are at or near poverty, increasing the minimum wage is one of the most effective ways to support California's kids and ensure that full-time workers supporting their families don't fall below the poverty line.

  2. Kids' Environments Are Getting Healthier: More public spaces will be tobacco and e-cigarette free in 2017. The anti-tobacco legislative package passed by Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature in 2016 lets kids (and their parents!) breathe easier by closing loopholes in the state's smoke-free workplace law, prohibiting tobacco and e-cigarette use on public school grounds, and banning the use of tobacco products within 250 feet of youth sports events.

  3. Pre-K Students' Data Will Be Safer: As more and more pre-K classrooms harness the benefits of technology for early learning, California's landmark student-privacy protections will be expanded to ensure that preschool and pre-kindergarten students' information is used for learning, not advertising or profiling.

  4. Working Families Will Have More Security: A rule limiting benefits for families who welcome new children while participating in the CalWORKS program is officially a thing of the past. Thanks to the repeal of the Maximum Family Grant Rule, parents will no longer be denied critical support during an important time for their families.

  5. More Money Is Going to Health Care and Tobacco Use Prevention: In November, California voters approved a $2 tax increase on tobacco products. Starting this year, that means more funding for the health care, dental, and prevention-effort programs we need to combat what the United States surgeon general calls a "pediatric epidemic" of tobacco use.

Join us in fighting for more "For Kids" laws like these: Sign up to be a Kids Action Advocate today!

Teresa Machado
Teresa Machado is Common Sense Kids Action’s Policy Associate for California. She joined Kids Action in 2016 from Early Edge California in Oakland, CA, where she worked to advance policy to improve early education access and quality. Previously, she worked as a district representative for California State Assemblymember Das Williams and began her career in policy as an intern with the California State Assembly Committee on Education.