A Host Of New Laws Take Effect Across MississippiBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 01 Jul 2011 01:50pm |
New laws passed by the Mississippi Legislature are taking effect all across the state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that a many of the laws are intended to make the state safer.
The Mississippi legislature approved hundreds of pieces of legislature during their three month session earlier this year.
One change is called the social host law, which will punish parents who knowingly allow people under 21 to drink alcohol on their property.
A parent group called Community of Concern pushed for the law and member Doug Boone says the law will cut down on teen drinking.
"It is a good law. It is going to help parents be able to say 'no'. It is going to help kids be able to say 'no'. and it is going to cut down on something that is way to prevalent," Boone said.
Young children are also the target of law known as "Nathan's Law"...which is stiffens penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
The law's key author Senator Chris McDaniel of Ellisville says the changes will make kids safer.
"It creates a 10 foot buffer zone around school buses. It updates the antiquated penalty provisions that have existed since 1984. It implements a workable felony provision, so we can now use the state's aggravated assault statue to apply to those who strike a child who has been discharged or is seeking to enter a school bus," McDaniel said.
Two new laws are now in place intended to protect victims of domestic violence....One would punish people who prevent their victims from calling for help and the other would let judges include G-P-S tracking as part conditions for bond for a domestic abuser.
Sandy Middleton with Center for Violence Prevention in Jackson says many offenders are most violent immediately after they are released.
"The victim would carry a monitor and whenever the offender got close to the victim, within a certain distance, the monitor would go off. And hence, the victim would be notified," Middleton said.
Another new law makes it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone online...that is intended to cut down identity theft and cyber bullying.
A few other high profile laws...including anti-Animal cruelty and a ban on a drug found in bath salts....took effect earlier this year and changes to the state's payday lending rules will take effect on January 1st.
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