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New laws 2014: Interesting state laws effective Jan. 1

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New laws for 2014 are about to be enacted throughout the nation. USA Today reported Dec. 29 on what some states can expect in the way of legal changes. There will be an estimated 40,000 news laws, regulations, and resolutions that state legislatures have approved. Many of the laws will take effect on Jan. 1. Read on learn more about what new laws might be in your state for the new year.

New laws for 2014:

Arkansas -- Voters in the state are required to show a photo ID at polling locations.

California -- Students will be allowed to school play sports and use school bathrooms "consistent with their gender identity," and not their birth identity.

Colorado -- 16-year-olds can pre-register to vote, but will not be able to vote until they are 18. Another new law in 2014 for the state effective Jan. 1, is those one or older will be able to buy up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use from a state-licensed retail store. Drivers of plug-in electric cars will pay a new annual fee of $50.

Connecticut -- Minimum-wage increase will go into effect Jan. 1. This applies to several other states in the region as well. Connecticut's minimum wage raises to $8.70 an hour; New Jersey's to $8.25; and New York's and Rhode Island's to $8. Nine other states will have a minimum wage increase "automatically because it's indexed to inflation."

Also read: Minimum wage hikes in 13 states for 2014

Delaware -- The sale, possession, or distribution of shark fins will be prohibited.

Florida -- Early voting will be expanded.

Illinois -- Anyone under 18 will be forbidden to do indoor tanning. A fine of $50 for littering will include anyone who flicks a cigarette butt on a street or sidewalk. Another new law in 2014 for Illinois, is police must get training on the "psychological and physiological effects of stun guns." Penalties will be stricter for "inciting a violent flash mob or riot via social media." Drivers will no longer be able to talk on handheld cellphones. A new "lemon pet" law will go into effect Jan. 1 which allows pet owners to return the animal or be reimbursed for veterinary costs "if an illness was not disclosed by the seller." The American Veterinary Medical Association say this law already exists in 21 states.

Maine -- Will become "the 48th state to require a check-off for organ donation on driver's licenses to promote organ donation."

Oregon -- New mothers will be allowed to take their placentas home from the hospital. Positive health benefits have been linked to ingesting placenta. Smokers will not be allowed to smoke in their vehicles when children are present.

Rhode Island -- A "ban the box" law will prohibit potential employers from inquiring into an applicant's criminal history on written job applications. This is the eighth state to make this a new law.

Virginia -- Voters will be able to register online.

Washington -- Marijuana legalization launches as one of the new laws in 2014 to take effect Jan. 1. Washington stores are expected to open in a few months.

Be sure to check with new laws for the new year in your state to get the full list.



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