Jul 092015


By Linda Kor

There are a number of new laws worth noting that went into effect on July 3. While legislators passed 324 laws, the majority of them will have little impact on citizens in the state as they are of a technical nature, affecting limited businesses. But amongst those are laws pertaining to begging, traffic school, cash assistance and the right to lay low after a big win at the lottery.

A new law in place now means panhandlers can be charged with a crime if they are considered too aggressive, but it also means any entity asking for money or even selling baked goods could be committing a crime if they are considered too aggressive in their sales pitch. Included in the law is making unwanted physical contact or soliciting in a way “to cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm.” It also means that no means no, and anyone continuing to solicit from someone after being told no is committing a crime.

Needy families in Arizona will have the timeframe they are allowed temporary cash assistance cut in half. Low-income individuals are now eligible for one year of benefits during their lifetime, down from two years from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Stray cats have more freedom. A new law states that cats no longer have to remain in animal control for 72 hours and may be returned to the area they were found if they have been sterilized.

While copper has historically been associated with Arizona, it wasn’t until last week that copper was named the official state metal. The metal mined in Arizona accounts for 65 percent of the country’s copper production.

Hunters get some protection out in the wild, not from predators, but from other hunters. A new law states that Game and Fish Department can revoke the hunting license of an individual who harasses another hunter.

Another bill now on the books allows individuals to go directly to a licensed clinical laboratory for a lab test without having to go to a physician first.

Arizona just became the first state to require students to pass a high school civics test in order to graduate. Students must correctly answer 60 of the 100 questions on the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization test.

Drivers who are a little too heavy on the gas pedal have the option of taking a defensive driving class once every year instead of once every two years after getting a speeding ticket. Although costly, taking the class allows a citation to not be reported to insurance companies, meaning no premium hikes.

Motorcyclists can now have “ape hanger” handlebars, which are raised handlebars that are above the driver, and handrails for passengers are no longer required.

Owning a three-wheeled vehicle will no long require a special motorcycle license as long as the seating area is enclosed, it is equipped with a roll cage and safety belts, and it is controlled with a steering wheel.

Lottery winners will get a short reprieve before debt collectors and needy family members find out about their windfall. A new law now in effect gives lottery winners 90 days before public notification is made.