If you’re having trouble living up to some of those New Year’s resolutions, the state and federal governments might have a few you will live with … unless you like fines and/or jail time.

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Courtesy: Daniel Moyle (Flickr.com)

Joining their 100- and 75-watt cousins of last year, traditional 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs are now illegal in accordance with the Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007. In their place, the government wants to see citizens buy the more energy-efficient halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs.
For those of you wanting to eat healthier in 2014, the Food and Drug Administration may make that just a little bit easier. According to an FDA press release, the organization announced that it plans to remove trans fats from its list of additives that are “generally recognized as safe.” Anyone wishing to use them would have to secure FDA permission.
New sections of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) took effect with the coming of the new year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions or on the basis of gender. This includes denying coverage renewal or charging higher rates.
In addition, insurance plans cannot place limits on the amount of annual coverage an individual may receive. People who decide to take part in clinical trials cannot be dropped from their coverage for this reason.
Health insurance tax credits based on income and for small businesses also rolled out this year in addition to the Health Insurance Marketplace for those not covered by their employers.
Be ready to buy health insurance upon graduating. However, those under their parents’ insurance may remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. Uninsured Americans will now be subject to a penalty for failing to comply.
The state of California had a few laws of its own come into effect with the start of 2014. Most controversial is AB 1266, which allows transgendered students to use the school facilities (like bathrooms) and join the sports teams of the gender with which they identify.
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Courtesy: DonkeyHotey (Flickr.com) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

However, some activists are challenging the implementation of this law, attempting to collect the necessary signatures in order to place a referendum on the ballot.
The state’s minimum wage is set to go up this year. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, workers will be paid a minimum of $9 an hour starting on July 1. Starting at the beginning of 2016, it will be $10.
The California Department of Public Health enacted a rule that all food employees in California, including chefs, cannot touch many ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. As a result, chefs will now have to wear single-use gloves or use utensils, which may make the preparation of certain foods, like sushi, more difficult.
A number of measures on immigration also took effect. California Bill AB 4, also known as the “Trust Act,” that was passed in September of 2013 states that jails can now only hold on to immigrants for federal immigration enforcement if they committed violent or serious crimes. Additionally, employers are forbidden from punishing or retaliating against workers on the basis of their immigration status.
The Golden State now bans high-capacity magazines, thanks to AB 48. Gun owners must also lock up their firearms.
Going hands-free is no longer enough for drivers under the age of 18, following the enactment of the California SB 194 of 2013. Reading or sending texts via voice command is now a ticketable offense for teens.