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New Law Updates Bidding Preferences for Various Public Agencies

The Legislature has significantly expanded local agencies' ability to use a small business preferences on a public works projects, and has expanded the use of preferences for small businesses, disabled veterans businesses and social enterprises in some counties.

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Bathrooms Are No Longer Acceptable Lactation Accommodations

Beginning January 1, 2019, employers will have to make reasonable efforts to provide employees with the use of a room or location, other than a bathroom, as a lactation accommodation.

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Updates to Food Service and Nutrition Laws Affecting Students

Numerous California laws surrounding food service funding and nutritional guidelines for school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education are set to change next school year.

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New Laws Promote Student Health and Safety

California lawmakers demonstrated a concerted effort to promote student health and safety by approving several bills this session. Assembly Bills (AB) 1798, 2435 and 2816 were passed to create or expand requirements or funding for school districts in relation to bus transportation, air quality, and pesticide use.

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New Law Could Reduce Public School Energy Costs

A new law aims to reduce the high costs public schools pay for energy. Throughout California, K-12 schools are spending a significant portion of their general fund-nearly $700 million-just to keep the lights on. This amount is nearly equal to what public schools dedicate to books and supplies for students.

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Part-Time Playground Positions Now Part of Classified Service for All School Employers

Effective January 1, 2019, all part-time playground positions will become part of the classified service of school districts and community college districts, including those K-12 and community college district that have incorporated the merit system.

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Legislature Clarifies CEQA Lead Agency’s Scope of Consideration in Authoring EIR

The California Legislature has amended the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in an effort to clarify a lead agency's ability to consider both the broad benefits of a project and the negative impacts of denying the project when evaluating environmental impacts.

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New Law Requires Districts to Pay Employees on Parental Leave at Least 50% of Their Salaries

Starting January 1, 2019, California school and community college districts will be required to pay certificated, classified, and academic employees eligible for parental leave under recently enacted laws at least 50% of their salaries once they exhaust their sick leave and begin taking differential leave.

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New Law Requires Paid Time Off for Union Stewards and Officers

Effective January 1, 2019, Senate Bill (SB) 1085 requires public agency employers in California to grant, upon the request of a union, "reasonable" paid leaves of absence to employees serving as stewards or officers of the union or of any statewide or national employee organization with which the union is affiliated.

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