A look at new laws that take effect Friday
Hundreds of new laws take effect Friday, with the start of August. A look at some of the changes on the books:
- ABORTION: People who work for abortion providers are prohibited from distributing health information at Louisiana’s public schools.
- RIGHT TO TRY: Terminally ill patients, with permission from their doctors, can use experimental drugs or treatments that haven’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Insurers aren’t required to cover the treatment.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Domestic abuse is now one of the grounds for immediate divorce. Abusers under a protective order are banned from possessing a firearm and those convicted of domestic abuse battery are prohibited from possessing a gun for a decade.
- DRIVING LAWS: Drivers who use hand-held cell phones in school zones will face fines, if the school district has posted a sign saying such use is prohibited. Single-axle, two-wheeled trailers and boat trailers no longer require state inspections. Vehicle inspection stations can conduct their inspections in the rain.
- CIGARETTE LITTERING: Flicking a cigarette butt out of your car window can get you slapped with a hefty fine and community service. A first offense carries a $300 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter cleanup program.
- REFEREE ATTACKS: Parents convicted of battery of a school or recreation contest official face toughened penalties, a minimum sentence of five days in jail and at least 10 days if the referee receives a serious bodily injury.
- HOME BAKERS: Home-based bakers who sell to the public are exempt from sanitation rules that require commercial grade equipment. The exemption applies to home-based food makers who prepare baked goods, candies, honey, jams and jellies, pickles, sauces, syrups and spices, if their gross annual sales are less than $20,000.
- DRONES: People are prohibited from flying drones over petroleum and alumina refineries, chemical and rubber plants and nuclear power plants without property owner consent.
- COCKFIGHTING BAN: Louisiana’s ban on cockfighting now mirrors laws that prohibit dogfighting in the state. The measure increased penalties for cockfighting convictions and criminalized the possession, manufacturing and selling of paraphernalia used to fight chickens.
- ACCOUNT PRIVACY: Employers, public schools and colleges in Louisiana are prohibited from demanding access to personal email, social media and other types of online accounts.
- TANNING BAN: Anyone under 18 in Louisiana is prohibited from using tanning beds.
- TEACHER GIFTS: Public schoolteachers can accept small gifts from their students, no more than $25 at a time, capped at $75 per year from one person.