Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New laws to usher in the new year

As 2009 is literally less than ten hours away in the EST zone, over 100 new state laws will take effect. Some of the more prominent laws fall into the sectors of insurance, driving, cyberbullying, guns, and domestic violence.

  • In insurance, eating disorders are defined as a "serious mental health illness" requiring coverage.
  • Texting while driving is banned.
  • Breathlyzer devices will be installed in vehicles of individuals who have been charged with DUIs. Also, stricter penalties even if failing a breathlyzer for the first time.
  • Schools will be allowed to suspend and penalize students who are found cyberbullying classmates.
  • Schools are also to bring awareness to internet safety at least once during the school year.
  • In domestic violence cases, two-year expirations are eliminated, but must be abstained unless modified.
  • Medical personnel cannot release medical records of a child to a parent who has a restraining order against them.
  • Increase penalties for knowingly purchasing firearms for those prohibited.
This is just a sampling of new laws. There are a variety, ranging from politics to renewable energy to smoking bans, to tax changes, and many more. Make sure you check your state for law changes. Amazingly, those in government are actually working.

Sources: New law tougher on DUIs
New laws will take in effect in new year
MSBNC--Texting while driving...
MSNBC--School bullying law...


4 comments:

Kara said...

I like the ban on texting while driving. I never do it but it scares me when I'm friends are driving and doing it. And thank goodness that EDs are considered a major mental illness for insurance companies - is that a state or federal decision?

Tiptoe said...

The coverage of eating disorders, meaning not discriminating against it for coverage is a federal law. It goes under the new mental health parity law which will go into effect on Oct. 3, 2009, however, the actual policy enactment will be on Jan. 1, 2010.

Here's a summary of the mental health parity la (http://www.apapractice.org/apo/in_the_news/parity_summary.html#) and also from the EDC (http://www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org/)

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