Happy (almost) New Year! As 2014 approaches, you’ll likely be surrounded by celebrations, ambitious resolutions, and maybe even a little champagne. But with each new year also comes new legislation. So, let’s take a look at a few new laws that will take effect once the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday.
- Illinois will become the sixth state to ban people under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. The move is the latest of several nationwide attempting to discourage artificial tanning while raising awareness about skin cancer.
- In Arkansas, voters will now need a photo ID in order to vote at polling places. In Virginia, meanwhile, voters will be able register online for the first time.
- In Oregon, mothers will be allowed to take their placentas home from the hospital after giving birth. Mothers will be free to freeze, discard, or hang up their child’s placenta on the wall as they wish.
- California children must now be allowed to play sports and use bathrooms according to their gender identity regardless of their sex at birth.
- Colorado residents over the age of 21 can bring in the New Year with up to an ounce of weed without worrying about the police. Starting on January 1, residents will be allowed to legally purchase an ounce of weed from registered state shops.
- In Illinois, public schools will be required to teach students about birth control and contraception during sex education classes. Until this year, abstinence was the only required form of sex education.
- Minimum wage workers in a handful of states across the country will see increases in their pay. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and California have all decided to raise the floor of their states pay scales.
- Illinois law enforcement agencies will be forbidden from using a surveillance drone unless they obtain a warrant for a specific purpose -- like investigating a terror threat.
- Shark fin soup is now illegal in Delaware. The state is just the fifth nationwide to ban the soup and take a stand against the morally bankrupt process used to create it.
- In Connecticut, all assault rifles and high-capacity magazine purchased before April of 2013 must be registered.