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State Laws That Went Into Effect on January 1st

Did you know that starting January 1, Wisconsin municipalities may legalize pedal pubs?* These are quadricycles in which peddlers may consume alcohol while traveling from bar to bar. This is one of the many new state laws identified by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The NCSL’s “Annual List of State Laws Going Into Effect on Jan. 1” identifies new state laws. These are grouped into topics such as marijuana, health, elections, and drones. In Illinois drones may not be used to interfere with hunters or fishers (2013 Illinois 098-0402). While, in California, election officials are required to create a system which allows those who voted by mail to know if their ballot was counted (2013 California 280). If you have anyone under 18 in your car while driving in Oregon you may no longer smoke (2013 Oregon 361). Colorado is not the only state with a new law concerning marijuana. Illinois will newly allow the sale of medical marijuana (2013 Illinois 098-0122).

The National Conference of State Legislatures’ site contains a wealth of compiled information about state legislation. I used the site’s search engine to find a list of states that allow the sale of medical marijuana. The District of Columbia and 20 states allow its sale. California was the first to do so. You can also browse state legislative information by clicking “Research.” On the right is a list of topics from agriculture and rural development to transportation. For example “human service” is near the middle of the list, and a click on the heading opens a list of subtopics including child welfare. The child welfare page contains information about state laws such as reporting child abuse and neglect, supporting non-parental caregivers, and a database of the 2013 enacted state laws concerning child welfare.** In 2013 three states have enacted legislation about infant abandonment/safe surrender. Two of those laws include provisions dealing with educating high school students about the laws.

*See a picture of a pedal pub at the NewsHour Quiz “Test your knowledge of the new laws of 2014.” 2013 Wisconsin Act 106

** The site has information about state child welfare laws going back to 2005.