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July 1 laws taking effect in states across the country

An agave Margarita and gin Martini made by mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout sit on a bar in the Starlight Room of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, Dec. 20, 2012.
Eric Risberg
An agave Margarita and gin Martini made by mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout sit on a bar in the Starlight Room of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, Dec. 20, 2012.

Starting today in Kansas, providers are supposed to ask patients why they are getting an abortion. A Florida law goes into effect allowing people who shoot bears on their property a "Stand Your Ground" type defense. It's July 1, so states across the country are putting laws into effect.

From reporting across the NPR network, here are a few notable new laws.

California drink test kits

In California, bars and nightclubs that only serve customers 21 and over must provide test kits for drug testing drinks either for free or for a minimal cost. These kinds of businesses must also post a notice reading: "Don’t get roofied! Drink spiking drug test kits available here. Ask a staff member for details" in a conspicuous location.

KPBS reports that Devin Blankenship, with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, says he hopes the law provides a sense of security for people who go to bars and nightclubs, "If they're ever suspicious of something happening, that they're able to reach out to the staff, request a test kit, test their drink and be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about someone messing or tampering with their drink."

Kansas abortion providers must ask patients why

As the Kansas News Service reports, starting today, abortion providers are supposed to be required to ask patients which of 11 possible reasons is most relevant to their decision to get an abortion. Possible reasons include that the patient cannot financially afford a child or that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

But also today, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said that the Kansas health department “has stated that it will not enforce this intrusive law, for now” and a health department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Kansas News Service.

The question is optional — the law states that if someone refuses to answer, their refusal will be recorded. But lawmakers voted down a proposed amendment that would have clarified to patients that the question is optional.

Iowa restricts hemp consumables

Starting today, Iowa bars the sale of hemp-infused “consumables,” like gummies or drinks, to anyone under the age of 21, according to reporting from Iowa Public Radio, as other states grapple with how and whether to regulate consumable hemp.

The new regulations restrict the potency of consumable hemp products that contain the psychoactive substance THC. One issue is that the exact details of the law and how it will be enforced are still being determined. And when it comes to THC in beverages, it gets even more complicated.

Georgia swatting penalties

Those convicted in Georgia of calling in false alarms to homes or businesses — a crime known as swatting — will face a felony criminal charge instead of a misdemeanor, as reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting. Lawmakers increased the penalty after several Georgia public officials were the targets of swatting at their homes.

'Stand your ground' but for bears (in Florida)

Under a law in Florida, people won't be subject to penalties for killing bears if they "reasonably believed" that their action was necessary to avoid the threat of death or serious bodily injury to a person, pet or property.

As reported by WFSU, the law sparked serious debate in the legislature. People who shoot bears would be required to notify the state within 24 hours and show they didn’t intentionally place themselves or pets in situations where they needed to kill bears.

California 'junk fees'

In California, as KQED reports, companies will have to disclose the full cost of everything from hotel rooms to concert tickets upfront because of a state law taking effect that bans so-called junk fees. Those are the hidden costs that get tacked onto a bill right before you pay.

After some last-minute political wrangling in Sacramento, the restaurant industry is exempt from the new law.

As KQED points out, Minnesota’s governor also signed a law this spring banning junk fees. And lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are considering similar legislation.

Tennessee protects musicians from unauthorized AI

This year, Tennessee became the first state to protect musicians from artificial intelligence impersonation. According to WPLN, that law is one of at least 10 notable laws to take effect today.

The law, called the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security Act, or ELVIS Act, bans the unauthorized use of performers' voices amid worries about how the technology could affect the music industry.

Copyright 2024 NPR

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[Copyright 2024 NPR]