New Year Brings New Laws, Some Controversial

New Year Brings New Laws, Some Controversial

Countless new laws have gone into effect for 2012.
Countless new laws have gone into effect for 2012.
  
The National Conference of State Legislatures points out this year, some 40-thousand laws were enacted and many took effect on January 1st.
   
Some laws come with controversy attached.
  
Among them is a law in New Hampshire in which minors will have to tell a parent before they get an abortion or they must get a court order in order to avoid that step.
  
In California, schools have to teach about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans who have contributed to the development of the state and the rest of the country.
  
New laws take effect in Delaware and Hawaii making same-sex couples eligible for civil unions.
  
Those couples will need to be granted the same rights and benefits as married couples.
  
The subject of immigration comes into play in Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
  
New laws take effect in those states which require businesses to sign up for the federal E-Verify program.
  
The program is designed to ensure that workers are eligible to be employed in the United States.
  
E-Verify is a program in which a prospective employee's citizenship or immigration status will be checked.
  
In Alabama, this state's new immigration law requires companies affiliated with government agencies to follow the E-Verify procedure as well.
  
The health of student athletes is the heart of another new law taking effect in California.
  
Under the new law, athletes suspected of having a concussion or head injury must be removed from that activity.
  
Those removed due to such an injury will not be allowed to resume activity until a health care provider gives the okay.
  
In another California health measure, a new law will ban stores from selling expired infant food and formula.
  
Distracted driving is another area where new laws are coming to light on New Year's Day.
  
Nevada will prohibit all drivers from texting and using handheld devices while behind the wheel.
  
North Dakota will be banning drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones while driving and will bar all drivers from texting.
  
There are some unique new laws on tap as well.   

A California law will prohibit the production and sale of beer containing caffeine.
  
On the subject of drinking, Oregon will have a law requiring interlock devices for people who have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.
  
Another California law bans the sale of the over-the-counter cough suppressant DXM to minors without a prescription.
  
Also under the unique category, California and Oregon will prohibit selling shark fins.
  
In addition, California will prohibit using ultraviolet tanning devices by minors.
  
(Copyright 2012 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)
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