Pot, Guns and Paparazzi: New Laws Run Gamut in US

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CALIFORNIA: Photographers who harass celebrities and their children face tougher penalties under a law backed by actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, who testified in favor of it. Berry told lawmakers her daughter has been intimidated by aggressive photographers who follow them daily. Those who take photos and video of a child without consent and in a harassing manner could face up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. They also can be sued for damages and attorney’s fees under the new law, which media organizations opposed. Supporters say it also will help protect the children of police officers, judges and others who might be targets because of their parents’ occupations.

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IMMIGRATION

NEVADA: Immigrants living in the United States without legal permission can apply for driver authorization cards starting Jan. 2. State officials anticipate tens of thousands of people will apply under the program.

MARYLAND: In a program similar to Nevada’s, immigrants living in the U.S. illegally will be able to obtain a state driver’s license or identification card if they can provide evidence of a filed state income tax return or were claimed as a dependent for each of the preceding two years.

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HEALTH COSTS

MAINE: Health care providers will have to provide patients who request it a list of prices of the most common health services and procedures, a law designed to boost transparency around medical costs.

DELAWARE: The state will limit patient copays for “specialty tier” prescription drugs to $150 a month for up to a 30-day supply.

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WORKING AND WAGES

OHIO: The minimum wage for untipped employees rises from $7.85 to $7.95 an hour, while tipped employees will go from $3.93 to $3.98 an hour, plus tips.

CALIFORNIA: The minimum wage is being boosted to $9 an hour starting in July, the first of two dollar-an-hour boosts that will push the base minimum wage to $10 by 2016, making it one of the nation’s highest minimums. Under another bill, domestic workers will have to be paid time and a half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week; baby sitters are exempt.

(Photo: AP)

 

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