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Morning Brief: Bad Cops, Bad Recycling And Minimum Wage

The side of a modern building shown in the daytime reads "POLICE" in all caps. The building has large, white, rectangular panels that look like windows over which the word is written.
Hollenbeck Police Station in Boyle Heights.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A., and Happy New Year! It’s Jan. 3.

Well, we made it through 2021. Con…grats?

Now, going into 2022, we’re turning our attention, at least briefly, away from COVID and towards some new laws passed in California. Even if you’re the type of person to glaze over at the word “legislation,” there are a handful of bills that could affect your day-to-day life. 

A couple that have our attention include stripping so-called “bad cops” of their badges, cracking down on recycling and enforcing a minimum wage for garment workers.

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When it comes to law enforcement, officers who’ve engaged in serious misconduct — like sexual assault or use of excessive force – could be kicked off the force and decertified, effectively ending their law enforcement careers. California is catching up to much of the rest of the country in this regard; 46 other states have similar laws on the books already.

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Recycling efforts are becoming more realistic, and a little more stringent. First, both yard and food waste will now have to go in the green trash bins. Plus, the criteria for slapping a recycling symbol on packaging will become more strict. This is to address the fact that a lot of items that carry the sign aren’t actually recyclable — or don’t wind up in the right place. Right now, 85% of single-use plastics wind up in landfills statewide.

Finally, here’s a shocking number: Due to an existing regulation, certain garment workers have been getting paid as little as $3 an hour, with no recourse. That will change now, as they’ll be compensated hourly rather than for the number of items they produce.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... 'Dear Millennials: Keep Slaying'

Daniel Lawlor, from Los Angeles, California, poses after winning first place in the Freestyle Moustache category at the third annual National Beard and Moustache Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 11, 2012. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s a controversial opinion: millennials are great. But so our Food Editor, Elina Shatkin, wrote in her 2019 essay, “Dear Millennials, Keep Slaying. A Note Of Thanks From Your Gen X Elder.” Her opinion, we believe, still holds:

Dear Millennials,

You've been blamed for killing napkins, beer, breakfast cereal, tuna, Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee's, Hooters, the De Beers diamond cartel, golf, fabric softener, marriage, divorce, middle children, mayonnaise, motorcycles, DUIs, handbags, gyms and sex — and that's not a complete list.

Most obituaries for these things take a rueful tone, lamenting their demise. Ignore that static. You are not just killing these things, you are killing it! And I love the way your murderous tendencies are reshaping our culture.
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Read the whole essay here.

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