New laws take effect Oct. 1
September 28, 2013
Real-time tracking of cold medicine purchases, dog discrimination, employment discrimination, voting rights of the mentally ill and turning on red lights are among 153 new laws taking effect Oct. 1 in Nevada.
Here are five things to know about new laws taking effect Tuesday:
FOILING METH COOKERS
AB39 implements in Nevada the National Precursor Log Exchange, a real-time electronic tracking system to stop the sale of excessive amounts of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine — ingredients found in over-the-counter cold medicines that can be used to make methamphetamine. State law already requires pharmacies to keep those products behind the counter and limits the amount consumers can buy. The multi-state tracking system prevents illegal drug makers from pharmacy hopping to stock up on cold medicines to make the illegal drug.
People adjudicated mentally ill will no longer automatically lose their voting rights. Under AB108, a judge must make a specific finding that a person lacks the mental capacity to vote because they are unable to communicate, with or without assistance, a desire to participate in the voting process. The law also applies to people under guardianship.
Pit bulls or other dog breeds branded by a perception of viciousness have new protections under AB110. The law prohibits declaring a dog dangerous based solely on the animal's breed and bans local governments from adopting ordinances to outlaw specific types of dogs. Another new law, passed as AB83, toughens penalties for people who participate in or witness animal or bird fighting events. It also imposes criminal penalties on people who supply the razor-sharp objects attached to fighting birds. People who feed big game animals face possible civil fines of up to $500 for repeat offenses under SB371. AB264 increases penalties for feeding feral or estray livestock such as horses, but it also authorizes the state Department of Agriculture to enter into agreements with outside groups to manage wild horses on state lands.
Riders of motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds will be able to travel through an intersection on a red light — provided they have a little patience. AB117 allows those road users legally to turn left, go straight or turn right on a red light, provided they wait for two complete cycles of the traffic signal. Backers of the bill said sensors on traffic signals often don't detect lightweight bikes, leaving riders in red-light purgatory.
Less than stellar credit histories cannot be used against an employee or prospective hire by an employer. SB127 makes it illegal for employers to condition employment on a person's credit information and bans employers from requiring credit reports. It also provides civil remedies for people aggrieved by employers for having a poor credit score and authorizes the state labor commissioner to impose administrative penalties and file civil lawsuits against employers for violations. The law provides exceptions if an employer believes a worker is committing crimes or credit worthiness is reasonably related to a person's job duties. Another bill, SB506, repeals an antiquated law dating to the Cold War era that made it legal for governments, employers and organizations to ban members of the Communist Party.