New Massachusetts Laws Ring in New Year
One new state law improves autism health care, another imposes penalties on schools for not monitoring head injuries in student-athletes.
Massachusetts rang in the New Year with a host of new laws that took effect Jan. 1. The measures were passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick.
Here's a sampling of the new laws:
Senate Bill 2469 imposes penalties on school athletic programs that do not take steps to prevent and monitor students who have suffered head injuries. The law actually took effect last year, though the penalty stipulation kicked in Jan. 1.
House Bill 4285 requires coolant and antifreeze sold in the state to contain a bittering agent that prevents the toxic substances from being ingested. The law is aimed at protecting young children and animals. Patrick called it "common sense ... public health measure."
House Bill 4879 adds "safeguards" to prescription drugs by monitoring the distribution of those with a "bona fide potential for abuse." The measure includes sharing prescription drug monitoring information with other states.
House Bill 4880 mandates the city of Boston prepare ballots in Chinese and Vietnamese for all federal, state and local elections. Patrick said it removes a language barrier that discourages people from participating in elections.
Other measures, such as the voter-backed repeal of the alcohol sales tax, also took effect Jan. 1.
For more information on state laws, click here.