state law

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Court Dumps Florida's 'Positively Dystopian' 'Stop WOKE' Law

Administration 'reviewing all options' after court rejection

(Newser) - A court has ruled that one of the signature laws of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration is unlawful. A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act, also known as the Individual Freedom Act, "exceeds the bounds of the First Amendment....

New State Laws Cover Guns, LGBTQ Issues, Fuzzy Dice

A roundup of new legislation taking effect in the new year

(Newser) - Fuzzy dice finally will be free to dangle in Illinois. Starting Monday, police there no longer will be allowed to pull over motorists solely because they have something hanging from the rearview mirror of the windshield. That means air fresheners, parking placards and, yes, even those dice are fair game...

Texas School Board's Rejection of Arabic Sign May Be Unlawful

Activist could use case to challenge SB 797

(Newser) - A Texas school district rejected "In God We Trust" signs printed in Arabic on Monday, despite a state law requiring that donated signs be displayed . The signs offered to the Carroll Independent School District by parent Sravan Krishna during a board meeting fit the parameters of Senate Bill 797,...

State Laws, Police Fight Car Part Thefts
Thefts Surge

Catalytic Converter Thefts Surge

States have passed legislation to toughen penalties

(Newser) - In Lawrenceville, Virginia, a van owned by Poplar Mount Baptist Church was knocked out of commission for weeks after thieves cut the catalytic converter out of its exhaust system. Several months later, across town, a catalytic converter was ripped from a van owned by First Baptist Church. Similar crimes followed,...

Call Someone a Bitch, Face Jail Time Under This State Bill

Mass. Rep. Dan Hunt says constituent requested he act

(Newser) - A bill under consideration in Massachusetts could see a person thrown in jail for calling another person a "bitch." Critics on both sides of the aisle are questioning the act "regarding the use of offensive words," which Democratic Rep. Dan Hunt proposed be added to state...

Alabama Passes Another Controversial Law

Some sex offenders will be forced to undergo chemical castration before release

(Newser) - Males convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 in Alabama will be forced to undergo chemical castration in the month before they're released from custody. Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed into law the bill passed by the state legislature on...

Workers Get Good News Across 20 States

For millions, a pay hike is coming

(Newser) - At Granny Shaffer's restaurant in Joplin, Missouri, owner Mike Wiggins is reprinting the menus to reflect the 5, 10, or 20 cents added to each item. A two-egg breakfast will cost an extra dime, at $7.39. The price of a three-piece fried chicken dinner will go up 20...

A Move to Vermont Could Net You $10K, but There's a Catch

You have to work remotely for an out-of-state employer

(Newser) - Vermont wants to pay you up to $10,000 to move there, and, yes, there's a catch. To qualify for the funds, you need to be a full-time employee of an out-of-state business who works from home. The unusual proposal, which comes with a new law signed by Gov....

Traffic Alert: Kansas Bans Cop Sex With Motorists

Police were allegedly abusing their power

(Newser) - Kansas has passed a law that most people probably assumed the state already had. The new law bans police officers from having sex with motorists that they pull over, reports the Wichita Eagle . Although Kansas did have a law prohibiting police from having sex with people in jail, the new...

'First-in-the-World Law' Could Affect Your Hawaiian Vacation

Proposed ban on certain sunscreens aims to protect state's coral reefs

(Newser) - Hawaii looks poised to become a world leader in the fight to protect coral reefs with a move that could leave sunscreen brands feeling the heat. A bill banning non-prescription sunscreens containing two chemicals believed to cause coral bleaching easily passed Hawaii's legislature Tuesday—there were just four votes...

Parents Sue School to Let 11-Year-Old Use Medical Pot

Illinois state law bans use of drug on school grounds

(Newser) - Most parents would celebrate a school that specifically bars students from using marijuana on its premises. Not an Illinois couple. JS and MS, as they’re identified in court documents, are suing the state after a Schaumburg school district barred their 11-year-old daughter from using a medical cannabis patch and...

Proposed Bill May Give Coffee Lovers the Jitters

Gasp: Oregon is weighing a coffee tax

(Newser) - Nearly 250 years after the Boston Tea Party , we could have a Salem Coffee Party on our hands. The Oregon Legislature is weighing a tax of 5 cents per pound on wholesale coffee, including coffee beans and ground coffee. KOIN reports that no revenue projection was given in House Bill...

9 Notable New Laws in 2017
9 Notable New
Laws in 2017

9 Notable New Laws in 2017

They involve sky lanterns, catfish, and tampons

(Newser) - If you plan to hunt catfish in Illinois this year, be sure to bring your pitchfork. Using pitchforks, spear guns, and arrows to catch the fish is now legal under one of several new state and city laws that came into effect with the New Year. Some of the more...

Mass. Passes Nation's 'Strongest Equal Pay Law'

It bars employers from asking for applicants' pay history

(Newser) - Massachusetts "just took a big step toward closing the wage gap" with "the strongest equal pay law in the country," as Mother Jones puts it. Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law Monday ensuring employees can speak openly about their wages, helping to uncover pay gaps, and...

North Dakota Lets Police Drones Fire Rubber Bullets

One expert says it's 'one of the worst' ideas ever about drones

(Newser) - Watch the skies in North Dakota: The state has passed a first-of-its-kind law legalizing the use of armed police drones, though they must carry "less than lethal" weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray, and Tasers, reports NPR . Interestingly, the law was first introduced as legislation prohibiting...

California Lawmakers Pass Strict Vaccine Bill

But Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't said whether he'll sign it

(Newser) - California lawmakers today sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland . The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California's personal-belief exemption for immunizations with a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West...

Most Interesting New Laws Taking Effect Today

And a bonus law about tiger selfies taking effect next month

(Newser) - 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

Medical Marijuana May Cut Painkiller ODs

States with new laws see drop in opioid deaths

(Newser) - The solution to America's addiction to painkillers may be … more drugs? A new study found a drop in painkiller overdose deaths in 13 states that allowed medical marijuana, CNN reports. That's because a patient prescribed marijuana will either stop taking opioids or take less of them, researchers...

New York: No More Tattoos—for Pets

Bill banning pet tattoos and piercings expected to become law

(Newser) - Apparently tattooing pets is a thing. At least, it's popular enough that New York passed a bill on Wednesday banning owners from inking up companion animals. Piercings are off the table, too, according to the bill, which was introduced in 2011 by Linda Rosenthal, an assemblywoman who read an...

'Upskirt' Pics Won't Be Legal for Long in Massachusetts
'Upskirt' Pics Now Illegal
in Massachusetts

'Upskirt' Pics Now Illegal in Massachusetts

After court ruling, lawmakers worked up a quick bill, and the governor signed it

(Newser) - If you were outraged by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that deemed "upskirt" photos legal , you can turn that frown upside down. Just a day after the decision, state lawmakers voted yesterday to outlaw photos of "sexual or intimate parts" secretly snapped in public in an "...

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