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By Bill King

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Some Useful and Not-So-Useful New Laws in 2013

Another year. Another set of new laws aimed at making things easier, harder or more costly for us whether we’re business owners or consumers.

The Serious: 

  • -Banks can’t initiate foreclosure procedures while you are in the middle of a loan modification application. They also have to give you one point of contact;
  • -The Westboro Baptist Church (and any other whacked group) is prohibited from picketing funerals one hour before, during, and one hour after any funeral.  It’s a misdemeanor.  It’s also a misdemeanor or felony to throw things at or otherwise physically injure such picketers, though you’re likely to get court leniency…
  • -Debtors filing bankruptcy are entitled to keep their tools of trade and an automobile so that they continue to engage in work or otherwise seek employment.
  • -Employers cannot request/require employees or job applicants to disclose social media usernames or passwords and cannot make them open up their social media sites in the presence of the employer. Also, no retaliation for failing to comply with such (illegal) requests.

“But you keep spelling ‘Tiberius’ wrong. Besides, that’s everyone’s password on this ship.”

The Less-Applicable:

  • -You can no longer use trained dogs to track bears and chase them into trees, then call your hunter buddies to come shoot them.
  • -Ministers, priests, rabbis, etc. do not have to perform marriages contrary to the tenets of their respective faiths. But this law is contingent upon any ruling or law that permits same-sex marriages in California.
  • “First, I need proof of gender. I mean, I can see you’re a guy, Frank…”

    -Passengers in off-road vehicles have to have a manufacturer’s seat and both feet need to be on the floorboard. It took almost 30 years since they outlawed 3-wheelers to come up with this.

The Practical:

  • -Proof of insurance can be shown to cops on your mobile device instead of the outdated one sitting in your wallet. It’s not clear if cops will let you slide if you show him a photo of your outdated insurance card, though.
  • -Hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, patch, and ring can now be dispensed by RNs instead of doctors, though a routine health assessment must be performed. This should go over well at all high schools that employ an RN.
  • -Pro Sports Complexes have to post text addresses and phone numbers to reach security to report disturbances and violent acts.  Despite the fact that cops are already on the premises, this should be faster than 9-1-1 calls.
  • -Dictation texting in the car is permitted. But when Siri mistakes “What do you want for dinner?” with “What dogs do wine Volkswagen?” you still can’t manually correct it. And, yes, it’s still considered littering if you throw your phone along with Siri out your window.

Come on, you know you laughed.

To see the rest, go here.

Happy New Year!

Bill

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