If you're a pale 17-year-old in Illinois, get your indoor tanning
sessions in now. Starting Wednesday, they're strictly forbidden.
new state law takes effect Jan. 1 that bans anyone under 18 from using
tanning salons in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois becomes the sixth state
to keep teens out of the facilities, part of a growing trend of
regulating teen use of tanning facilities to help reduce the risk of
skin cancer, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
(NCSL), a Washington-based group that tracks lawmaking.
new measure is one of an estimated 40,000 new laws, regulations and
resolutions approved by state legislatures in 2013, many of which take
effect Jan. 1. Among them:
- Arkansas voters must now show a photo ID at polling places,
while Virginia voters for the first time will be able to register
- In Colorado, 16-year-olds will be able to pre-register to vote, but must still wait until they're 18 to vote;
- In Oregon, new mothers will now be able to take their placentas home from the hospital - some experts say ingesting it has positive health benefits, but another new state law bans smoking in motor vehicles when children are present.
students must be allowed to play school sports and use school bathrooms
"consistent with their gender identity," regardless of their birth
Perhaps most significantly, Colorado adults age 21 or older will beable on Wednesday to buy up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use from a state-licensed retail store. Marijuana advocates expect many of the new stores to be up and running by then, and observers say the new Colorado regulations are a sign of things to come.
"I think state legislatures will be faced with the marijuana issue" in 2014, says Jane Carroll Andrade, NCSL's spokeswoman.
See the more than 20 NC laws taking effect Jan. 1
Washington state, regulators are combing through more than 2,000
applications for similar stores after voters approved a similar measure
in 2012, says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He expects the
first Washington stores to open in a few months.
"Other states are watching Colorado and Washington because it will continue to come up," Andrade says.
who likens these developments to the state-led reversal of Prohibition
in the 1930s, says a dozen states are due to debate marijuana
legalization measures in the coming year or so. "The genie's out of the
bottle and it's simply not going back in."
Many new state laws
take effect 90 days after they're signed, but a few states, like
California, Colorado, Illinois and Oregon, get extra attention this time
of year because traditionally many laws in these states take effect on
As a result, life changes a bit more radically for Illinois residents
each new year: On Wednesday, in addition to the tanning measure,
they'll find that they can now return a pet or be reimbursed for
veterinary costs if an illness was not disclosed by the seller.
So-called "lemon pets" laws already exist in 21 states, according to the
American Veterinary Medical Association.
Also in Illinois: Anyone
who flicks a cigarette butt on a street or sidewalk could be fined at
least $50 for littering; police must receive training on the
psychological and physiological effects of stun guns, and penalties are
now tougher for inciting a violent flash mob or riot via social media.
also becomes the 13th state to prohibit handheld cellphones while
driving. Meanwhile, school districts on Jan. 1 will be able to install
cameras on school buses to photograph drivers who pass them when buses
are stopped. And school-based sex education must include information
about both abstinence and contraception.
Illinois is also home to
tough new laws prohibiting unmanned aerial drones. Come Wednesday, it'll
be illegal to use a drone to interfere with hunters or fishermen - and
police must get a warrant to use a drone for surveillance, except in
cases of terrorism or if a suspect is fleeing a crime scene. Even with
the warrant, police must destroy information gathered within 30 days
unless it's linked to a crime, says Ed Yohnka of the American Civil
Liberties Union of Illinois.
Lawmakers in both parties
overwhelmingly passed the new surveillance prohibition, he says. "They
understood that it was something that could occur in the relatively near
future, and so there was a desire to get on top of it."
A sample of new state laws taking effect Jan. 1:
will see a new annual $50 fee for plug-in electric cars - Colorado is
one of several states looking to capture revenue from alternative fuel,
electric and hybrid vehicles.
post-Sandy Hook gun control laws include mandatory registration of all
assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines bought before
April 2013, and creation of a statewide registry that will track
parolees whose crimes involved weapons.
Sale, possession or distribution of shark fins prohibited.
Expanded early voting.
Becomes the 48th state to require a check-off for organ donation on driver's licenses to promote organ donation.
run websites that feature police mug shots must take down photos for
free if subjects can show they were not guilty or that charges were
- Rhode Island:
the eighth state to enact a so-called "ban the box" law that prohibits
prospective employers from inquiring into an applicant's criminal
history on written job applications.