Just as sports fans eagerly await baseball’s opening day—the crack of the bat, the crunch of the popcorn—lawyers gaze spellbound toward this Wednesday. For that is when an annual migration culminates, when our rafters and shelves are filled with the newborn, the fledgling.
On Wednesday, hundreds of new laws take effect. 357, to be exact.
A profession beams with pride as it leans over the bassinet, also known as the Arizona Revised Statutes. The nascent laws, recently no more than a few bills among many, squirm and squeeze their little fists, yearning to be fully formed.
Their creators apparently decided that the new laws’ older siblings were insufficient to the many tasks at hand. And so the nursery is full.
The laws about to become effective include a wide variety of topics. As the story says:
“The laws cover a broad spectrum of topics, from ensuring homeowners-association meetings are open to residents and giving married couples preference in adoptions to restricting charitable donations to groups that support abortion and requiring schools to develop bullying policies.
“Dozens of the bills target public-safety issues, toughening penalties for sex crimes against children, raising fees for writing a bad check, paying inmates more for hard labor and creating new crimes surrounding human smuggling.”
Among the many new laws is one in regard to DUI charges and the right to a jury trial. I wrote about that before. (This one, though, has a delayed effective date until Jan. 1, 2012.)
As this news story says, there was an effort to head this law off at the pass, but it failed to garner enough signatures. We will watch this topic over the coming year as the inevitable court challenge is filed.
In the meantime, welcome to the newest toddling laws. Cigars, anyone?