July 1 brings new, sometimes quirky laws
WASHINGTON — Passengers hailing cabs in Chicago starting Sunday may want to read the fine print on the taxi placards before they get in. In addition to the base fare, cab drivers for the first time can charge sick passengers a $50 vomit cleanup fee.
The new regulation is just one of myriad laws taking effect July 1.
The halfway point of 2012 means the start of new laws across the United States. CNN producers canvassed the country and found some of the more unusual regulations and downright quirky bills worthy of our Top 20:
1. Illinois: Taxi drivers can charge passengers a $50 cleanup fee for vomiting in cabs.
2. Kentucky: A law prohibits people from releasing feral hogs into the wild.
3. New Mexico: Grocery stores, restaurants and other vendors are prohibited from claiming that their fresh chili peppers are New Mexico chilies unless they were grown in the state.
4. Pennsylvania: Punxsutawney school guidelines increase from ½ cup to ¾ cup the minimum serving of vegetables for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
5. Florida: A law forbids the shackling of women incarcerated during a pregnancy and immediately after giving birth.
6. Virginia: A law allows a brewery licensee to sell at retail the brands of beer that the brewery owns at premises.
7. Virginia: A local ordinance requires electronic messages on outdoor advertising to remain in place for at least eight seconds to avoid driver distractions.
8. Kentucky: Prisoner of War and Missing in Action flags purchased or displayed by public institutions must be made in the United States.
9. Minnesota: A law increases penalties for transporting certain aquatic invasive plants and animals.
10. Florida: A law prohibits people from videotaping a person without his or her knowledge in a residential dwelling.
11. Indiana: A nepotism law prohibits local government workers from hiring or promoting family members in their direct line of supervision.
12. Virginia: A law requires a person convicted of DUI to have an ignition interlock device in their car, operable by blowing into a breathalyzer.
13. Wisconsin: A law calls for mandatory license plates for all ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) operating in public areas.
14. Massachusetts: A law bans the disposal of medical sharps (needles, syringes and lancets) in household trash.
15. Virginia: A law allows a concealed handgun permit as a valid form of identification when voting.
16. Georgia: A law gives drivers the option of affixing a decal with the slogan “In God We Trust” on license plates in place of the county where they live.
17. Nevada: Unclaimed casino earnings will be split between the state (75%) and the casino (25%). Previously, the casino got all the money.
18. Idaho: Law enforcement can issue arrest warrants by fax.
19. Vermont: Minors (under 18) will be prohibited from using tanning beds.
20. Kentucky: (Effective July 12) A law makes it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen copper for immediate cash at recycling centers by delaying payments.
Credit: Jim Barnett, CNN. CNN’s Todd Sperry, Mike Ahlers and Becky Perlow contributed to this report.