2010 Laws Will Target Vices As States Face Budget Gaps
by Scott Bauer
Condensed by Native Village
At 21:01 a.m. on January 1, 2010, new laws took effect in states across the country. In these tough economic times, states need to raise money, so state lawmakers have clamped down on new ways to do it.
Among the most surprising new laws set to take effect in 2010 are:
A smoking ban for bars and restaurants in North Carolina. This is a dramatic change because North Carolina's income has long depended on the tobacco industry.
Virginia approved a similar law, but allows bars and restaurants to offer separate smoking areas.
Smoking is now banned in restaurants in 29 other states and in bars in 25.
12 more states require manufacturers to make cigarettes less likely to start fires. Wyoming is the only state without such laws.
Laws on texting while driving took effect in New Hampshire, Oregon and Illinois. 19 states how have this law. It does not include the six states that prohibit using hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel.
A new Arkansas law prohibits retailers from selling toy guns that look real. However, there are many exceptions to this law.
California has a new anti-paparazzi law making it easier for celebrities to sue media outlets for invasion of privacy.
Massachusetts has banned the 75-year-old tradition of dog races.
In Texas, teens who go to tanning beds must be accompanied by an adult.
Oregon employers may not restrict employees from wearing religious clothing at work, taking off time for holy days or practicing their religion.
Louisiana and Nevada have banned the sale of "novelty" lighters which can be dangerous.