Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Laws...

Welcome 2010

Welcome New Laws?

Rules from tanning to texting: More than 40,000 new laws go into effect in 2010.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, Texas college freshmen and transfer students will need to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis before they can live on campus. Restaurants in California 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. New Hampshire, Oregon and Illinois join 16 other states that prohibit motorists from sending text messages while driving.

More than 40,000 laws have been enacted by state legislatures in the past year, and at least 30 states have statutes that go into effect on New Year’s Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which provides an annual round-up of such laws.

Among the more noteworthy:

• Payday borrowers in Kentucky will be restricted to two loans of no more than $500 at a time, and payday lenders facer tougher penalties if they lend to someone who has reached the maximum.

• Oregon will require children under age 16 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 Texas, smoke detectors will need to be able to alert a hearing-impaired person if requested by a tenant.

• In Montana, insurance companies will be required to provide coverage for autism-spectrum disorders.

• In New Hampshire, physical therapists will be able to get certified to practice on animals.

• Also in New Hampshire, peeing in public has become costly. The new law makes public urination or defecation a violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.

•  In Michigan, residents will be able to use the internet to find out the locations of illegal methamphetamine laboratories.  Michigan law enforcement officials must work with the Department of Community Health to maintain the status of each lab and whether the property has been remediated or not.

Minimum wage laws

• Workers making minimum wage in North Carolina will get a pay raise.  Effective January 1, 2007, the minimum wage in North Carolina will be $6.15 per hour.

• Hawaii’s minimum wage will increase on January 1 to $7.25 per hour.

• Rhode Island’s minimum wage will increase on January 1 to $7.40 per hour.

• Massachusetts’ minimum wage will increase on January 1 to $7.50 per hour.

• Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase on January 1 to $7.65 per hour.

• Colorado plans to lower the minimum wage to $7.24 from $7.28 per hour.

Also see my post from last year titled Strange Laws for some amusement if any of these new laws have you feeling down.

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