The start of August marks day one for hundreds of new laws passed in the most recent legislative session. Below are some of the newest laws on the books in Louisiana:
Domestic Violence: Domestic abuse is now grounds for an immediate divorce. Additionally, abusers under a protective order are banned from possessing a firearm. Anyone convicted of a domestic abuse related battery is prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years.
Cell Phones in School Zones: Drivers using hand-held cell phones in a school zone will face fines, if the school district has a sign posted stating that such use is prohibited.
Cigarette Litter: Large fines are now in place for flicking cigarette butts on the ground or out of your car window. If you are caught, be prepared to pay a $300 fine and do 8 hours of litter cleanup as community service for a first offense.
Drones: If you are lucky enough to have a drone (like Martha Stewart), you can no longer fly it over petroleum and alumina refineries, or chemical, rubber, or nuclear power plants without the consent of the owner.
Tanning Beds: Teens looking to get a tan need to go outside for some real sunshine. Anyone under 18 is prohibited from using a tanning bed in Louisiana.
Vehicle Inspections: Vehicle inspection stations are now permitted to conduct inspections in the rain.
Abortion: Individuals who work for abortion providers are prohibited from distributing health information at any Louisiana public school.
Trailer Inspections: Single-axle, two-wheeled trailers and boat trailers no longer need to undergo state inspection.
Online Account Privacy: Employers, public schools and colleges in Louisiana cannot demand access to personal email, social media or other types of online accounts.
Experimental Medicine: Terminally ill patients can now use experimental drugs and treatments that have not received approval from the FDA, if they have their doctor’s permission but, insurers are not required to cover such treatments.
Attacks on Referees: There are now stiffer sentencing penalties for parents convicted of battery against a school or recreational contest official – a minimum of 5 days of jail time or 10 days if the referee suffers serious bodily injury.
Cockfighting Penalties: The possible penalties for people who fight chickens have been increased. Violators of the ban on cockfighting in Louisiana now face up to 1 year in jail and a $2000 fine, and up to 3 years in jail and the same fine for a repeat offense. The new, stiffer penalties bring the cockfighting laws into line with state’s dog fighting ban.
Home Cooking: Home-based cooks who prepare baked goods, candies, honey, jams and jellies, pickles, sauces, syrups and spices, who sell their goods publicly are exempt from sanitation rules requiring the use of commercial grade equipment, if their gross annual sales are less than $20,000.