Gas tax hike, later school start times among new Calif. mandates taking effect in July

Two new California laws are taking effect in a few days when the calendar turns to July, along with a hefty, 3-cent gas tax increase at the pumps.

Senate Bill 328 will see students throughout the state starting class at a later time. 

While elementary schools are not affected by SB 328, middle schools and high schools will no longer be allowed to begin class before 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., respectively. 

The bill does not prohibit schools from offering programs, classes and activities to a limited number of students before the official start of the school day as long as they do not generate average daily attendance for the purpose of dealing out state funding. 

SB 328 was passed by the legislature in 2019 with the goal of providing students with more time to sleep. 

Rural school districts are exempt from the earlier start times under the law. 

Another major law taking effect July 1 will impact ghost guns across the state. 

Assembly Bill 1057, signed into law last October, will expand California’s red flag laws to allow family members, teachers, co-workers and employers to request a from a judge that ghost guns are seized from someone they see as a danger to themselves or the public. 

Ghost guns – untraceable firearms that do not have serial numbers and are assembled at home – have seen increased use in recent years with the use of technology such as 3D printing. 

A notable incident of ghost gun use was the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at