New Year, New Laws

Well, so much for a happy new year. As the year 2010 rushed in, so did numerous laws that took effect. There were 40,697 new legislatures passed by the 50 US states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Some went in effect during New Year’s Day, January 1, in about 30 states.law-signing

Some of the laws are serious while some are open for “interpretations”. Here are some samples:

  • In New Hampshire, same sex marriages will be allowed. Physical therapists can get certified to practice on animals.
  • In Texas, college freshmen and transfer students will need to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis before they can live on campus. Smoke detectors will need to be able to alert a hearing-impaired person if requested by a tenant. Teenagers cannot use a tanning bed unless accompanied by an adult.
  • In North Carolina, smoking gets banned in bars and restaurants. The state is the largest tobacco producer in the country.
  • In Kentucky, payday borrowers will be restricted to two loans of no more than $500 at a time, and payday lenders face tougher penalties if they lend to someone who has reached the maximum.
  • In Oregon, children under age 16 are required to wear a seat belt on any ATV or vehicle on public property, and will increase the fine for people riding a motorcycle without a helmet to $720.
  • In Montana, insurance companies will be required to provide coverage for autism-spectrum disorders.
  • In California, restaurants can no longer use oils, margarine, or shortenings with more than half a gram of trans fat per serving. And stores in Louisiana can no longer sell lighters that appeal to children.
  • In Illinois, drivers may not text while driving. Flags used by state and local governments should have been made in America. Bowling alleys are immune from lawsuits if there is a post against slippery bowling shoes. Schools must include Mexican-American History and history of people with disabilities.
  • In Louisiana, consumers must be warned of the dangers of eating seafood from China.