New laws take effect this new year across U.S.

HOUSTON (KTRK) - There are a number of new laws taking effect in 2017, from what you can and can't smoke to how to catch a catfish.

-At the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, you can toke in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine - recreational amounts of marijuana can be used and sold legally.

-The deadly 2015 accident between a FedEx delivery truck and a charter bus led to a new California law requiring charter bus drivers to provide better safety instructions to passengers.

-In the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino massacre that claimed 14 lives, new gun laws in California will ban easily reloadable semi-automatic weapons and prohibit magazines of more than 10 bullets.

That spurred a rush to purchase just those kinds of weapons.

-Illinois is expanding the fight against domestic and sexual violence ordering training for cosmetologists to recognize signs of abuse.

-And 20 states will raise their minimum wage ranging from Missouri where it goes up by a nickel to Arizona, where it jumps nearly two dollars an hour.

-And starting next year in Illinois, you will be able to use a pitchfork, a spear gun or a bow-and-arrow - your choice - to hunt catfish.

California alone passed 898 new laws, other states hundreds more, everything from Oregon banning sky lanterns (those are miniature hot air balloons as a fire hazard) to New Hampshire finally passing a law making illegal to point a laser beam at a plane or car.


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