Beginning Wednesday, you’ll be able to sell baked goods you make in your own kitchen, contribute money to build a border fence and yank your children from classrooms if you object to harmful materials.

And you may be glad to know that Arizona officially becomes “The Grand Canyon State,” the Colt single-action Army revolver will now be the official state firearm, and you are free to fly the Gadsden flag — the one with the snake that reads “Don’t Tread on Me” — even if that’s prohibited by your homeowners association.

But you won’t be able to terminate a pregnancy if the reason is to select the gender or race of the child.

A total of 357 new laws were approved in this year’s legislative session. A few took effect immediately and some others have delayed effective dates.

But most become law on the 91st day after the Legislature adjourned, something that occurs this year on Wednesday.

While the debate over immigration never reached the same level it did last year, lawmakers did approve several measures aimed at those not in this country legally.

For example, existing law already requires someone who wants to work in certain service industries that require state licensure to produce a valid identification proving the right to work in this country. Now that document will be required to have a photograph.

Another new law prohibits government agencies that need identification from accepting the cards issued to Mexican nationals by that government’s Arizona consulate.

And a third expands laws dealing with human smuggling to go after the organizations involved.

Then there is the law that sets up a special fund to solicit donations from Arizona and elsewhere to have the state, perhaps working with other states, build a fence along the border. Proponents say the federal government has failed to secure the border, leaving large stretches without barriers.

But the biggest problem is less likely to be money than practicality: The state would need the consent of private landowners, and much of the border actually is on federal or reservation land.

Lawmakers did move on several fronts in the area of what might be called morality and behavior bills.

Aside from the ban on the use of abortion to select race or gender of a child, legislators voted to impose new restrictions on medical abortions — those done with RU-486 rather than a surgical procedure — to require that they be performed by a doctor rather than a trained nurse practitioner. But that measure will not take effect as scheduled Wednesday to give time for a judge to hear arguments next month by Planned Parenthood Arizona that the law is unconstitutional.

Other measures, however, are set to kick in on schedule, including expanding an existing ban on the use of public funds for abortion to say that the University of Arizona College of Medicine cannot use even student tuition and fees to train doctors to perform the procedure.

On other fronts, one new laws spells out that, everything else being equal, the Department of Economic Security must give preference to a married couple when placing a child for adoption. It also spells out other factors that should be considered.

Another could drag out the process of divorce, which normally can be granted 60 after a petition is filed, for another 120 days if one party makes that request. But the law also says the judge cannot delay the process if the other party has “good cause” for objecting.

Some of the laws extended into the classroom.

The bill allowing a child to be withdrawn from an activity is part of a law that let parents review learning materials and activities in advance. Parents who conclude what is being taught is “harmful” can request to have to have the student excused from that activity, class or program and instead get an alternate assignment.

That same law also requires schools to obtain a signed consent form from a parent or guardian before using a video or electronic materials that “may be inappropriate for the age of the student.”

And another new statute allows university and community college clubs to refuse to admit members who do not share their religious or other beliefs and still get official recognition and funding.

Other new changes that take effect Wednesday include:

• Allowing fines of up to $500 on juveniles who use fake IDs to purchase tobacco products.

• Permitting hunting within city limits in certain circumstances.

• Imposing new restrictions on the ability of cities to impose fees on new developments.

• Barring cities from requiring sprinklers in new homes.

• Requiring cities that use photo radar to inform vehicle owners they do not legally have to respond to mailed notices of violation or identify the driver if it is someone else.

• Exempting members of the military returning from overseas postings from the limit on bringing back more than one liter of alcoholic beverages.

• Requiring schools to adopt additional protections for public school students against bullying.

• Enacting higher fees on those who pass bad checks.

• Allowing political candidates to put their campaign signs in public rights of way.

• Expanding tax breaks for owners of bed-and-breakfast establishments.

• Letting lenders go after credit card borrowers for debt going back six years.

• Barring Tucson and other Pima County cities from objecting to new cities on their borders.

• Setting out new laws on who is responsible for bedbug control in apartments.

• Providing protections for employers who do drug tests on workers who are entitled to use medical marijuana.

• Letting Marana take control of part of the Pima County sewer system.

(1) comment


Surely we don't have enough safety and security yet. More laws, more prisons ='s more government supported jobs. Now there's the way to prosper - create more government supported jobs paid for with the money extorted from the producers.

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