state law

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Mass. Passes Nation's 'Strongest Equal Pay Law'

It bars employers from asking for applicants' pay history

(Newser) - Massachusetts "just took a big step toward closing the wage gap" with "the strongest equal pay law in the country," as Mother Jones puts it. Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law Monday ensuring employees can speak openly about their wages, helping to uncover pay gaps, and... More »

North Dakota Lets Police Drones Fire Rubber Bullets

One expert says it's 'one of the worst' ideas ever about drones

(Newser) - Watch the skies in North Dakota: The state has passed a first-of-its-kind law legalizing the use of armed police drones, though they must carry "less than lethal" weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray, and Tasers, reports NPR . Interestingly, the law was first introduced as legislation prohibiting... More »

California Lawmakers Pass Strict Vaccine Bill

But Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't said whether he'll sign it

(Newser) - California lawmakers today sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland . The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California's personal-belief exemption for immunizations with a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West... More »

Most Interesting New Laws Taking Effect Today

And a bonus law about tiger selfies taking effect next month

(Newser) - It's Jan. 1, and you know what that means: Many new state laws take effect, some of them weird. Highlights from the AP :
  • Wine lovers in Massachusetts can finally have out-of-state wineries ship bottles directly to them. The new law, stalled for years, got a boost when former New
... More »

Medical Marijuana May Cut Painkiller ODs

States with new laws see drop in opioid deaths

(Newser) - The solution to America's addiction to painkillers may be … more drugs? A new study found a drop in painkiller overdose deaths in 13 states that allowed medical marijuana, CNN reports. That's because a patient prescribed marijuana will either stop taking opioids or take less of them, researchers... More »

New York: No More Tattoos—for Pets

Bill banning pet tattoos and piercings expected to become law

(Newser) - Apparently tattooing pets is a thing. At least, it's popular enough that New York passed a bill on Wednesday banning owners from inking up companion animals. Piercings are off the table, too, according to the bill, which was introduced in 2011 by Linda Rosenthal, an assemblywoman who read an... More »

'Upskirt' Pics Now Illegal in Massachusetts

After court ruling, lawmakers worked up a quick bill, and the governor signed it

(Newser) - If you were outraged by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that deemed "upskirt" photos legal , you can turn that frown upside down. Just a day after the decision, state lawmakers voted yesterday to outlaw photos of "sexual or intimate parts" secretly snapped in public in an "... More »

Texting While Driving? Ariz. to Nail You for, Uh, Speeding

Using loophole, crackdown to begin in January

(Newser) - Arizona hasn't outlawed driving while texting, but it's come up with a strategy to deal with those who do use their phones while on the road: Slap them with a speeding ticket, the Pheonix New-Times reports. The crackdown will begin in January, and if you're wondering how... More »

6 States Defy Pentagon on Gay Military Benefits

Couples being forced to travel to federal bases to get ID card needed for benefits

(Newser) - In 44 states, the gay spouse of an active-duty National Guard member can register for a military spouse ID card at his or her partner's base and begin getting federal marriage benefits. But in six states, it's not so easy. As the New York Times explains, bases in... More »

Nurses, Midwives Can Now Perform Abortions in Calif.

Meanwhile, many abortion clinics in Virginia may be forced to close

(Newser) - With its latest bill, California has joined Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Hampshire in allowing non-physicians to perform aspiration abortions, a common form of the procedure. But California's bill, signed yesterday, goes a bit farther than those states: Despite opposition from state Republicans , the bill allows not just nurse... More »

It's July 1: Hundreds of New Laws Go Live

On everything from drones to tanning to Election Day drinking, and more

(Newser) - The Jersey Shore is about to get a little paler. As of today, minors in the state won't be allowed to use tanning beds—and anyone under age 14 won't even be able to get a spray tan there. It's July 1, the day hundreds of of... More »

Alabama About to Put Its Abortion Clinics in Jeopardy

New restrictions go to governor today

(Newser) - Alabama's state legislature has passed a bill placing tough new restrictions on abortion providers, and critics say it's intended to shut down the five clinics in the state, the New York Times reports. The bill is headed for Gov. Robert Bentley's desk today, and he's said... More »

Thousands of New Laws in Effect, Some of Them Odd

If you live in Kentucky, don't even think about releasing a wild hog

(Newser) - While everyone fretted about the fiscal cliff , thousands of new state laws quietly took effect at midnight. The Christian Science Monitor , the Washington Post , and Mediaite run down a few notable ones, from the weird (feral hogs?) to the more conventional:
  • Caylee's Law: Legislation named after Caylee Anthony took
... More »

Poll: If State Legalizes Pot, Feds Should Be Cool With It

But Americans still split on legalization itself

(Newser) - It's now legal to smoke pot while watching a Lord of the Rings marathon in Washington state, but questions persist over how the pot-prohibiting federal government should react. A new USA Today /Gallup poll clarifies how Americans feel about two of the biggies: Respondents remain split on the issue... More »

Colo., Wash. Face Showdown With Feds Over Legal Pot

New state measures fly in face of federal law

(Newser) - Colorado and Washington state are now chill with citizens having a little pot—but the drug is still very much illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes, leaving states to chart a difficult path. When it comes to medical marijuana, the feds have tended to crack down on large operations and... More »

Obama Endorses State Measures for Gay Marriage

Backs ballot efforts in Maine, Maryland, Washington

(Newser) - After announcing his support for gay marriage in May, President Obama is putting his weight behind ballot measures to make those unions a reality. Obama is supporting measures in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state to legalize same-sex marriage, the AP reports. "Washington's same-sex marriage law would treat all... More »

Doctors, Patient Groups Split Over New Mammogram Laws

Physicians fear required warnings could prompt unneeded worry

(Newser) - Doctors' groups and patient advocates are facing off over new state laws that require health professionals to warn women when mammograms reveal dense breast tissue. Density—the result of higher proportions of connective or glandular tissue—can make it more difficult to detect cancer, since both the tissue and tumors... More »

Rapists Can Assert Child Custody in 27 States

New York, Minnesota among states that offer no protection to victims

(Newser) - Think Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape" were medieval? Even scarier, and less-discussed, is the fact that many US states allow alleged rapists to apply for parental rights of children conceived by sexual assault, write Dana Liebelson and Sydney Brownstone at Mother Jones. "It sounds unfathomable,"... More »

40K New State Laws Kick In for 2012

Includes abortion restrictions and voter identification laws

(Newser) - The new year has brought us about 40,000 state laws ranging from abortion and voter restrictions to golf cart requirements and a ban on happy hours. MSNBC runs down a few of them:
  • Several states will require employers to confirm the legality of workers through a federal system called
... More »

GOP Election-Law Rewrites Pose Threat to Dems

Minorities, young people targeted in new rules, say voting-rights groups

(Newser) - Pennsylvania’s Republicans aren’t the only ones instituting voting laws likely to hurt Democrats. Some 12 states have begun requiring voters to carry picture ID; Florida and Ohio have reduced early-voting time; and Florida has cracked down on ex-felons voting, the Washington Post reports. Republicans say they want... More »

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