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New Stuff in 2013

We can now surmise the full extent of the legislative action that occurred under the Gold Dome this year. According to my able support staff, there were 189 bills passed this year. That’s a lot of new laws, so I’ll use this week and next to cover some of the laws that stick out. Natural Resources and the Environment got 19 new laws, leading the pack. Public Safety got 11 newbies, Education and Youth got 13, State and Local Government got 10 and Judiciary Non-Civil got 15. Ethics got 2. That’s funny. They passed an ethics bill?

Senate Bill 81 shortened the legal ginseng harvesting season by two weeks. Apparently that was a problem, maybe we too much ginseng. No word on how the long the illegal ginseng season is.

Senate Bill 87 actually repealed a law, the 1967 Roadside Markets Incentive Program, which apparently had fallen into disuse, probably in 1968.

The House paid $400,000 to Mr. Lathan Word for a wrongful armed robbery conviction that cost him 11 years in prison. Bizarrely, Mr. Word will lose any remaining payments if he is convicted of a felony hereafter. We need to keep our thumb on him I guess.

The Senate ordered that automated external defibrillators (AED) be placed in every high school. They didn’t pay for that mandate, of course, nor was there an explanation why teachers, guests and students at lower schools remain unprotected. That’s shocking.

House Bill 337 provides that school employees can, or cannot if they choose, inject a student with auto-injectable epinephrine if the child goes into allergic shock. Sounds like a no-brainer. Apparently a law was needed though to keep someone from being sued for inaction.

House Bill 139 makes it clear that candidates for Sheriff have to be a high school graduate or equivalent. The Legislature’s setting the bar kind of high on that one.

Under Senate Bill 145, if you have your land in a conservation trust, you can still have “farm weddings” on your property.

Under Senate Bill 66, contempt fines in Superior and State court goes up to $1,000. I’ve never been held in contempt by a superior or state court judge, but this further incentivizes me to avoid that.

Senate Bill 136 lowers the “per se” blood alcohol content from .10% to .08% for boaters. That’s long dome

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