New laws to kick in on July 1

first_imgBecause of the extra time in launching these laws, many agencies and companies already have begun implementing them. Many school districts, for example, have already improved their menus and banned soda on campus, while supermarkets have begun recycling plastic bags. Senate Bills 12 and 965, authored by former Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Los Angeles, and signed into law in 2005, set new limits on sugar and fat content in meals served in public schools, including a ban on soda. The Los Angeles Unified School District started improving its nutrition standards well before the state law was even written, school board President Marlene Canter said. The district banned soda in 2003 and then banned trans fats and sugary foods over the next two years. It is now working on plans to open 16 weekend farmers markets on campuses, she said. The district also has hired a new food service director who is focused on healthier meals and is planning to hire a marketing director to help persuade kids to make healthier choices. Bottles and cans Another new law that takes effect July 1 will charge consumers a penny more on the purchase of recyclable bottles and cans. The fee was increased to 5 cents on plastic, glass and aluminum containers under 24 ounces and 10 cents for larger containers. The amount paid back to consumers when they recycle the containers had already been increased by that penny Jan. 1. In 2006, there were almost 22 billion recyclable containers sold in California, but only about 13.2 billion, or 60 percent, were recycled, according to the California Department of Conservation. The 40 percent of unclaimed deposits go toward various recycling programs. The new law that requires supermarkets to recycle plastic bags was authored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys. The bill requires stores to start providing bag-recycling bins for consumers, label bags to indicate they can be recycled and provide reusable bags as an alternative to plastic. Few bags recycled Federal agencies have estimated that more than 52,000 tons of disposable bags were used in California in 2000, but less than 50 tons were recycled, while the disposal costs for the bags are more than $51 million per year. On July 1, hospitals will face new regulations designed to prevent infections, increase the number of state inspections and boost the reporting of problems. SB 739, by former Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, requires the state Department of Health Services to create an advisory committee to study the issue of reporting health care-associated infections. The law also requires the state to issue new procedures to prevent the spread of influenza within hospitals. Meanwhile, SB 1312, by Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, requires the DHS to conduct annual unannounced inspections of a wider range of health care facilities, some of which had previously been exempt from some inspections. SB 1301 by Alquist also requires hospitals to report to the DHS any of a list of “adverse events” such as surgery mistakes, problems with drugs and medical devices, criminal activities and others. Hospitals that fail to report such events can be subject to a fine. Staff Writer Brandon Lowrey contributed to this report. harrison.sheppard (916) 446-6723 New legislation Here are a few new laws that take effect July 1: SCHOOL JUNK FOOD BAN: School districts will have to ban soda and limit fat and sugar content and portion size of meals. PLASTIC BAG RECYCLING: Supermarkets will have to provide ways for customers to turn in plastic bags for recycling and to provide reusable bags as alternatives to plastic. BEVERAGE RECYCLING: The deposit charged on bottles and cans, and refunded to those who recycle them, will increase by a penny, to 5 cents on containers up to 24 ounces and 10 cents on larger containers. The intent is to increase the incentive to boost the state’s recycling rate, which is now at 60 percent. HOSPITAL INFECTIONS: Hospitals will have to study and improve efforts to prevent patients from contracting new infections while hospitalized. Some estimates are that about 240,000 patients in California develop health care-associated infections every year. Source: Daily News research 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Bans on junk food and soda in schools, and a recycling program for plastic bags are among a handful of new, high-profile laws set to take effect across California in less than two weeks. While most new laws kick off at the start of every calendar year, a few – including increased fees for bottles and cans that are recyclable and new efforts to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals – will start July 1. Dave Hope, a Beverly Hills resident who works near a recycling center in West Hills, hailed the extra fees for bottles and cans because the amount paid back to consumers when they recycle the containers rose an extra penny earlier this year. “I need a few million of those,” Hope said of the cans and bottles. He said he makes his monthly recycling stops during his lunch break, often walking away with $5. last_img read more