Each new year brings a plethora of new laws enacted by the various states. (Congress passed fewer than 60 laws this year, the smallest number in 66 years.)
Here are a few of the most newsworthy:
• Marijuana stores become legal in Colorado — under state laws — and medical marijuana is now legal in Illinois. Actual sales may not occur for some time because of bureaucratic issues.
• Towns and cities in Wisconsin may legalize pedal pubs, multiple-person bicycles that ferry riders to and from taverns. A driver steers while multiple riders sit at a bar mounted behind him, each with his or her own pedal-and-chain assembly.
• Transgender students may choose which restroom to use and whether to play on girls’ or boys’ sports teams in California. The law may be subject to referendum.
• Photographers who harass celebrities and their children may face a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 in California. They also can be sued for damages and attorney fees.
• Illegal immigrants in Nevada can apply for driver authorization cards. Illegal immigrants in Maryland can obtain a driver’s license or identification card if they have filed a state tax return or were claimed as a dependent for each of the past two years.
• Upon request, health care providers in Maine will have to provide patients a price list of their most common health services and procedures.
• California’s minimum wage will go to $9 an hour starting in July. Domestic workers will have to be paid time and a half if they work more than nine hours in one day or more than 45 hours in a week. Baby sitters are exempt.
• Ohio’s minimum wage for will rise from $7.85 an hour to $7.95 for untipped workers and $3.93 to $3.98 plus tips for workers who receive tips.