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Happy New Year, Happy New Laws

I love reading about the new laws that come into effect January first.  This year we have some real doozies.

Here are a few from KGET.com:

  • Police at sobriety checkpoints, before impounding cars of unlicensed drivers, will have to make an effort to allow the registered owner to pick it up.
  • Local authorities will now regulate the location of medical marijuana cooperatives.
  • Beer with added caffeine will be prohibited.
  • With a few exceptions, the use of consumer credit reports by employers when hiring will now be prohibited.
  • Self-service checkout line purchases for alcoholic beverages will now be prohibited.
  • A minor who is 12-years-of-age will be able to consent to medical care related to a sexually transmitted disease.
  • The name of the food stamp program to Cal-Fresh.

CNN.com is reporting an interesting omission from KGET:

[A] controversial California provision requiring that schools add “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” to the list of those whose contributions “to the development of California and the United States” must be taught in schools.

Another California law adds “gender identity and gender expression” to the list of characteristics that require equal rights.

Some other interesting California laws from CNN.com:

California also will ban stores from selling expired infant food and formula.

Another law in California focuses on school athletes suspected of having a concussion or head injury. A school must remove the athlete from that activity and not allow him or her to resume until clearance is given by a health care provider.

Many of the new laws cited by the legislature group are in California, including one prohibiting the use of ultraviolet tanning devices by minors and another making it a crime to sell “a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk.”

Both Oregon and California will prohibit the sale of shark fins in the new year.

Here you can find a complete list of the California laws, with a short description of each.

Other states have some interesting laws, as well.  From CNN.com:

New laws in Delaware and Hawaii make same-sex couples eligible for civil unions and grant them the same rights and benefits as married couples under the law, the legislature group said.

In New Hampshire, starting January 1, minors will have to inform a parent before getting an abortion or seek a court order to avoid parental notification.

Gov. John Lynch had vetoed the bill, saying there must be an exception for rape, incest and abuse. The legislature overrode his veto.

New laws in Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia require businesses to enroll in the federal E-Verify program to ensure that employees are eligible to work in the United States, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.

California, meanwhile, is prohibiting any state or local government office from requiring that employers use E-Verify, unless it is required by federal law as a condition of receiving federal funds.

Oregon is requiring state colleges and universities to waive tuition and fees for foster children under age 25.

Some new state laws amend crime provisions. Kentucky will require that certain inmates convicted of drug crimes serve the final six months of their sentences in the community, under supervision.

Oregon will require ignition interlock devices — computerized breath analyzers — for people convicted of driving under the influence and people who are under intoxicant diversion agreements, which allow prosecution on a DUI charge to be delayed.

And more states are joining a nationwide movement for tougher laws against distracted driving. Nevada will prohibit all drivers from texting and using handheld devices, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. North Dakota is banning drivers under age 18 from using cell phones in their cars and barring all drivers from texting.


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