In 2013 in Illinois, motorcyclists will be able to “proceed through a red light if the light fails to change.” In Kentucky, releasing feral or wild hogs into the wild will be prohibited. And in Florida, swamp buggies will not legally be considered motor vehicles.
On Jan. 1, as crowds of people toast to a new year, more than 400 news laws across the country will take effect — and possibly improve life for some.
“The laws that state governments deal with are really the laws that impact people on a daily basis,” said Jon Kuhl, a spokesmanfor the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks the bills. “Whether amending or updating laws or enacting brand new legislation, it was an active year.”
In addition to the new laws of 2013, more than 29,000 lawswere passed by state legislatures this year, Kuhl said. Many dealt with healthcare, education, gay rights, child safety and the Internet.
In several states, including Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware, lawmakers made it illegal for employers to either require or request social-media passwords from job applicants or employees. Some of those laws are already in effect. However, similar bills passed in Illinois and California become law Tuesday.
Some new laws in 2013:
Same-sex couples in Maryland will be able to marry.
California clergy members will not have to perform same-sex marriages if they object.
Partial birth abortion by physicians and non-physicians will not be performed in New Hampshire except to save the life of the mother.
Sex offenders in Illinois will not be able to dress up as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or give out candy during Halloween.
Employers in Oregon will not be allowed to advertise a job opening if they won’t consider applicants who are unemployed.
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