New Year New Laws


Every January 1st there are an influx of new laws that take effect and 2014 is no exception.


There are an estimated 40,000 new laws, regulations and resolutions approved by state legislatures that are set to take effect today.


In Arkansas, voters must now show a photo ID at voting places and in Virginia people can now register to vote online. In Colorado, 16 year olds can pre-register to vote, but they cannot actually vote until they are 18.


California students must now 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.


Minimum wages will increase in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.


The legislature in Illinois has been busy. Effective today, you can no longer use a tanning salon unless you are over 18. You may now return a pet or be reimbursed for veterinary costs if an illness was not disclosed by the seller (known as the lemon pet law). There is also a possible $50.00 fine for flicking a cigarette on a street or sidewalk. Illinois police must now receive training on the psychological and physiological effects of stun guns. Also, school based sex education must now include information on abstinence and contraception. Illinois is now one of the toughest states relative to unmanned aerial drones. It is now 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 a fleeing suspect. Even with the warrant the police must destroy the information within 30 days unless it is connected to a crime.


Colorado will now require an annual fee of $50.00 for plug-in electric cars. It is hoping to cash in on revenue generated from alternative energy vehicles.


Connecticut (post Sandy Hook) now has new gun control laws that include mandatory registration of all assault weapons and large capacity magazines bought before April, 2013 and there is now a statewide registry that will track parolees whose crimes involved weapons.


Delaware now prohibits the sale, possession or distribution of shark fins.


Rhode Island becomes the 8th state to enact a “ban the box” law that prohibits prospective employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on written job applications.


Perhaps the most significant is that effective today, in Colorado; adults 21 and older will now be able to buy up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use from a state-licensed retail store.


We at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., wish you a happy, safe and healthy 2014. If you have any legal issues or questions, please contact us at (248) 263-6800 or by completing a Request for Assistance form.