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 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.
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 online.
• In Colorado, 16-year-olds will be able to pre-register to vote, but must still wait until they're 18 to vote.
California students must be allowed to play school sports and use
school bathrooms "consistent with their gender identity," regardless of
their birth identity.
• 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. Another new state law bans
smoking in motor vehicles when children are present.
Minimum-wage increases take effect in four northeastern states:
Connecticut's rises to $8.70 an hour; New Jersey's to $8.25; and New
York's and Rhode Island's to $8. In nine other states, the minimum wage
rises automatically because it's indexed to inflation.
most significantly, Colorado adults age 21 or older will be able 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.
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.
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
Illinois 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.
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 other state laws taking effect Jan. 1:
Drivers 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.
gun-control laws in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown
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
Delaware: Sale, possession or distribution of shark fins prohibited.
Florida: Expanded early voting.
Maine: 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: Becomes
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.
Contributing: Associated Press and Reuters