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Handel On The Law

(NEWSER) – It's Jan. 1, and you know what that means: Many new state laws take effect, some of them weird. 

  • Wine lovers in Massachusetts can finally have out-of-state wineries ship bottles directly to them. The new law, stalled for years, got a boost when former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, now a winemaker in Washington, complained about being unable to send wine to people like, say, former teammate Tom Brady.
  • In California, a 2008 ballot initiative aimed at making life better for animals takes effect today. It gives more space to egg-laying hens, breeding sows, and veal calves
  • No more breed bans in Utah. The state no longer allows specific breeds of dogs to be banned; at least 10 cities currently do have such restrictions on breeds like pit bulls.
  • Yes officially means yes in California, where a new law regarding college students is now in place: "An affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity" is now required, and silence or lack of resistance does not mean consent.
  • Don't throw away your old computer, TV, or video game console in New York, where it's now legally required that you recycle such electronics instead.

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