Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year - New Laws

As of January 1, 2007, there will be new laws taking effect in many states all across the USA.
Here's a sampling:

- Debtors in New Hampshire – where the state motto is “Live Free or Die” – can no longer be subject to peonage, or holding a person in servitude or partial slavery to work off a debt. (So, those of you holding a mortgage or college loans please take note! hahaha)

- Pistol-packing judges in Kansas will be able to carry concealed weapons into their courtrooms. (Ya think Judge Judy packs heat?)

- In Arkansas, it will be illegal to display a Social Security Number or require someone to send it over the Internet (unless the information is encrypted). Maryland employers cannot print any part of their employees’ Social Security Numbers on the paycheck or stub.

- Meanwhile, identity thieves in eight states – Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin – will find it harder to defraud victims because new “security freeze” laws would ensure thieves cannot open new accounts under victims’ names. By Jan. 1, 26 states will have such a law.

- Gift cards in Kansas will have to be good for at least five years.

- Massachusetts will become the 50th state to require new hunters to pass a hunter-safety course before receiving a license. (Dick Cheney please take notice)

- It will become tougher for local governments to seize land for economic development in Florida, Illinois and Iowa, as the three states’ new eminent domain laws take effect. (oh, how I wish Connecticut would DO SOMETHING to protect landowners!)

- This year’s fierce immigration debate has led to a tough new law in Colorado, where employers will have to verify new workers’ identification in 2007 to ensure they aren’t illegal immigrants. Employers also must retain copies of the documents they’ve checked. (Let's give Colorado a huge round of applause for this one!)

Yup - I noticed that Connecticut had nothing to contribute to this list.. Apparently the "Land of Steady Habits" continues to vote in legislators who fail to accomplish anything meaningful except spending more money and taxing us more.