Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year for New Laws

New Year’s Day makes way for resolutions, memories and new laws, over 40,000 in fact. This year starting January 1, legislatures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico met in 2009, leading to the enactment of 40,697 laws. The new laws cover a variety of areas, from texting and tanning beds to human trafficking and seat-belt safety.

Oregon and Illinois join 17 other states that prohibit motorists from sending text messages while driving, and same-sex couples will be able to marry in New Hampshire. A California measure that limits Trans fat in restaurant food also takes effect January 1 as well as a statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants that will take effect in North Carolina.

Many bar and restaurant owners in North Carolina are annoyed that they have to abide by a law banning smoking in the nation’s largest producer of tobacco. Some declare that the new laws have “officially killed the holiday spirit” and that “the government shouldn’t tell us how to live our lives.” While others say that the new laws, many of them being very beneficial to our health and livelihood, say the laws are very much needed.

I believe many of the new laws will help better the lives of many people. I think the laws concerning texting and seatbelts will reduce a lot of the traffic accidents as many do become distracted while driving. And I think the human trafficking laws will help stem the flow of this crime as well. But I suppose we will all have to see how the new laws pan out during the first year into the new decade.

Watch the video about the year of new laws on Yahoo.

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