Across the country, from the federal to state and local level, at least 40,000 new laws and regulations are taking effect.  Many of them have to do with Obamacare. But in Washington state, most are going to be effective, while many won't affect many of us at all.  Some states and communities are going to be stuck with stupid or bizarre  laws.  We're not.

Some of the new WA laws going into effect this week:

  • Important confidentiality rules in place for tenant screening companies.   Now there's more backround protection for certain people applying for rentals or apartments.  Those who've been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking won't have to disclose that to a perspective landlord.
  • Confidentiality rules for county coroners clarified.  Now, coroners know exactly who they can and cannot release information to about autopsy reports and causes of death, as well as other information about victims.  The clarified list includes family members, law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys.
  • Instead of charging someone with "rioting" they can now be charged with "criminal mischief" making it much easier for officials to prosecute people accused of unruly or disruptive behavior.
  • And perhaps of most importance to NFL fans,  Seahawk license plates went on sale this week, so if you've got a pile of money sitting around and don't know how to blow it, you can let everyone know you're a 'Hawks fan.  Same goes for Seattle Sounders soccer fans.  Whee!

If these seem trivial or don't affect you, consider this.  In California starting January 1st, sports participants must be allowed to play sports and use bathrooms consistent with their "gender identity" regardless of birth identity!  So if a boy doesn't see himself that "way", and wants to play on the girls volleyball team, he apparently has to be allowed to do so and use the ladies room.

In Oregon,  mothers who give birth will be allowed to take home the placenta from the birthing procedure.  Hmmm.

 And finally in Illinois,  if you're under 18, forget about getting a quickie tan.   A new law bans the use to tanning beds and salons for those now considered underage.  Another state will now only allow tanning bed use for those under 18 with a doctors note!