The final installment of our look at new state laws that took effect Tuesday:
– New Jersey: Drivers can be fined $200 the first time they’re caught texting and driving, even if they use a hands-free function or text while stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal.
– New Mexico: Employers must display a poster on human trafficking if they are subject to the state’s Minimum Wage Act. The poster must be in English, Spanish and any other written language spoken by at least 10 percent of workers.
– New York: Nonprofit groups now face new rules regarding conflict of interest and whistleblower policies, and members are restricted from being present at any meeting about his or her compensation.
– North Carolina: A sales tax that utility companies collect is increasing from 3 percent to 7 percent, meaning residents could see a several dollar increase in their electricity bills.
– Rhode Island: Taxes on corporations will drop from 9 percent to 7 percent, and a 10-cent toll on the Sakonett Rover Bridge is being dropped.
– South Dakota: Those who text while driving a vehicle can now face a $100 fine, unless they use a hands-free device is used or a message is sent to an emergency dispatcher, local governments can’t make rules that discriminate against pitbulls or other specific breeds of dogs, and public schools must make time to say the pledge or allegiance.
– Tennessee: Liquor stores are now allowed to sell items other than alcohol, including corkscrews and mixers; knives over four inches long are legal throughout the state regardless of municipal restrictions; and people can break into locked cars if they see children inside in danger, call 911 and remain with the child until law enforcement arrive.
– Utah: Those with epilepsy can have access to nonintoxicating cannabis oil after receiving a letter of recommendation from a neurologist.
– Vermont: Drivers are not allowed to smoke cigarettes in a vehicle with children under age 8. Cigarettes are also banned at hospitals, schools, child-care centers and all state property, except the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington.
– Virginia: Hunting on Sunday is now legal: The state’s ban could be traced to “early British colonies” and continued as a means of protecting wildlife from overhunting, according to Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, which supported lifting the ban. The number of standardized exams students must take has been lowered from 22 to 17, and new state textbooks are required to note that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea, a measure supported by Korean Americans.