The new law’s that might affect you!
State legislatures passed thousands of new laws in 2013, many of which go into effect this week. These laws address a variety of issues: from guns and voting to drones and tanning. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting and noteworthy new laws going into effect across the country in 2014.
Oregon mothers will be able to take their placentas home after giving birth Advocates said some families wanted to take them home for cultural or religious reasons — while in some circles, it is thought that consuming the placenta can have health benefits. Hospitals in the state previously barred mothers from taking them home, labeling them as hazardous medical waste.
And in Illinois, it will be illegal for police to use a surveillance drone in most cases without a warrant. The growing government surveillance in Illinois included passing a law barring law enforcement from using a surveillance drone unless they obtain a warrant — and only for specific purposes, like countering a terror attack.
Here are some more laws that cought my eye:
Illinois: Approximately 200 new laws will go into effect next year in Illinois including a regulation banning minors from using indoor tanning booths. The new law makes Illinois the sixth state to ban people 18 and younger from indoor tanning sessions. The growing trend is part of an attempt to curb the risk of skin cancer.
Pet owners will soon be able to return “lemon pets” to sellers who fail to disclose the animal’s health issues. Further, the law will make it possible for the buyer to demand that the seller reimburse them for the cost of treating the ailing pet’s health issues.
Also in Illinois: Anyone who flicks a cigarette butt on a street or sidewalk could be fined at least $50 for littering; police must receive training on the psychological and physiological effects of stun guns, and penalties are now tougher for inciting a violent flash mob or riot via social media.
California: California schools will soon be required to allow students to play the sports they feel are most “consistent with his or her gender identity,” meaning students can sign up for whatever sport they want to play regardless of their sex at birth. This rule extends to bathroom use as well.
California will also become the first state requiring websites to tell users how they track, and share, personal information.
Delaware: It was a long time coming, but the people of Delaware should say goodbye to shark fin soup.A new law will prohibit the sale, distribution, trade and possession of dish’s main ingredient starting 2014.
Colorado: Thanks to months of negotiations among its lawmakers, Coloradans 21 years and older will finally be able to purchase an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Purchases can only be made from retailers approved by the state.
Also in Colorado drivers will see a new annual $50 fee for plug-in electric cars. Colorado is one of several states looking to capture revenue from alternative fuel, electric and hybrid vehicles.
Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, and California: Minimum Wage Hikes
Minimum wage rates have in recent months been the center of a national debate regarding American workers and “income inequality.”
And at least four states have decided to get ahead of the argument by agreeing to raise their wage rate levels in 2014.
New York and Rhode Island will require employers to pay $8 an hour. Meanwhile, New Jersey will require its employers to pay employees $8.25 an hour. Connecticut will require its employers to pay workers $8.70 an hour. And California with the highest wages raising to $9.00 an hour.
Connecticut: New gun-control laws in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown include mandatory registration of all assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines bought before April 2013, and creation of a statewide registry that will track parolees whose crimes involved weapons.
Florida: Expanded early voting.
Maine: Becomes the 48th state to require a check-off for organ donation on driver’s licenses to promote organ donation.
Oregon: Privately run websites that feature police mug shots must take down photos for free if subjects can show they were not guilty or that charges were dropped.•
Rhode Island: Becomes the eighth state to enact a so-called “ban the box” law that prohibits prospective employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on written job applications.
2014 is looking like an interesting year so far. These laws (once taken into effect) should make for some juicy topics and conversation! Happy new year everyone!