7 New Laws for 2012 That Will Make the Year Awesome

new lawsThe new year doesn't just bring aspirational gym memberships and empty promises about limited carb intake, it also brings new laws. On Sunday, January 1 some of the nearly 40,000 new laws passed in 2011 will go into effect. CNN reports that everything ranging from abortion to buying shark fins to teens and tanning beds has been addressed, and in my opinion, most of the incoming legislation is promising. Of course there are some duds that need to be changed or adjusted, but overall it looks like 2012 will start off on the right foot.

Here are 7 laws for 2012 that will make the year awesome.

  1. Big ups to the little guys! On Jan 1, Hawaii and Delaware will give same-sex couples the same rights and benefits that married couples and those in heterosexual civil unions have.
  2. California made some important moves that will force schools to add gay, lesbian, transgender, and bi-sexual people to the list of those who've contributed to the development of the state. They've also added "gender equality" and "gender expression" to the list of people who require equal rights.
  3. Another win for California -- they've banned the sale of beer infused with caffeine, so say goodbye to Four Loko and the ilk. They've also banned stores from selling expired baby formula and food.
  4. More on the California front -- the state's prohibited the use of tanning beds by minors. You'll thank them later, kids.
  5. When it comes to our beloved animals, new mandates in California and Oregon will make selling shark fins illegal (I guess that is a thing) and CA will prohibit the sale of animals basically anywhere other than a pet store, breeder, pound, etc. No more kittens for sale in a box on the boardwalk, essentially.
  6. Oregan loves its people as much as its animals -- they're making state colleges and universities waive tuition fees for foster kids under 25-years-old.
  7. And finally, Nevada's blazing a trail and has made texting while driving an illegal offense. Amen to that. I hope more states follow their lead.

There are some less than exciting laws coming into play, too -- New Hampshire will require that minors tell their parents before getting an abortion, even if they were raped, abused, or are a victim of incest. There are also mixed feelings about states forcing businesses to use a federal E-verify program to make sure that their prospective employees are eligible to work in the US. Some say it protects companies, others say it's an unreliable system that doesn't even work.

Overall though, I'd say 2012 is looking up. Here's to a great new year.

What do you think of some of these laws?


Photo via brittanylynae/Flickr

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