Most Interesting New Laws Taking Effect Today

And a bonus law about tiger selfies taking effect next month
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2015 7:52 AM CST
Most Interesting New Laws Taking Effect Today
A lion cub named Dominjun, right, and a tiger cub named Jangbori wear Santa Claus caps during an event to celebrate Christmas at the Everland amusement park in Yongin, South Korea, Dec. 23, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

It's Jan. 1, and you know what that means: Many new state laws take effect, some of them weird. Highlights from the AP:

  • Wine lovers in Massachusetts can finally have out-of-state wineries ship bottles directly to them. The new law, stalled for years, got a boost when former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, now a winemaker in Washington, complained about being unable to send wine to people like, say, former teammate Tom Brady.
  • In California, a 2008 ballot initiative aimed at making life better for animals takes effect today. It gives more space to egg-laying hens, breeding sows, and veal calves.

  • No more breed bans in Utah. The state no longer allows specific breeds of dogs to be banned; at least 10 cities currently do have such restrictions on breeds like pit bulls.
  • Yes officially means yes in California, where a new law regarding college students is now in place: "An affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity" is now required, and silence or lack of resistance does not mean consent.
  • Don't throw away your old computer, TV, or video game console in New York, where it's now legally required that you recycle such electronics instead.
  • Undocumented immigrants can now get driver's licenses in California.
  • And you'll need a license plate to drive a motor scooter in Indiana, where people have complained about unsafe driving by people who've lost their licenses over drunk-driving arrests or other problems.
  • Massachusetts finally will allow "hold open" clips on self-service gasoline pumps, which will make motorists much happier in winter.
  • A bonus law: Starting next month in New York, it will be illegal to take a selfie with a lion, tiger, or other big cat. The law passed after such photos started gaining popularity online, "particularly with some young men on dating sites," the AP notes.
Click for the complete list. (More state law stories.)

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