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New Year Brings New State Laws

Starting in 2013, an adult entertainment surcharge goes into effect. It requires either a $3 entry fee into a strip club or requires club owners to pay an annual surcharge. Proceeds will mainly go to the Sexual Assault Prevention Fund.

A couple of new laws designed to protect children will hit the books in 2013. Sex offenders can no longer hand out candy at Halloween or participate in other holiday events involving kids. Known as Caylee's Law, this new law increases penalties for failing to report the disappearance or death of a child 13 years or younger within 24 hours.

Licensed daycare homes and group daycare homes must be tested for radon every three years.

Also in 2013, penalties will stiffen for parents who allow underage drinking on any property they own.

License plate renewal fees will go up $2. That money will go to the Department of Natural Resources to help them operate state parks.

Also, DNR officials can now ask boaters to clean their seaplanes or boats of aquatic plants or animals before they hit the water. They hope this will prevent the spread of invasive species.

In 2013, you will not be allowed to talk on a cell phone when driving in a construction zone or maintenance zone.

Truck drivers, with some exceptions, will not be able to use a hand-held cell phone at all.

Scrap metal dealers buying copper will now have to keep more detailed records of who they are buying from.

Employers can no longer request or require current or prospective employees to provide account information on social media web sites like Facebook.

Salaries of all public employees, including county, township and city workers will now be posted on a public website.

People convicted of domestic violence can no longer carry a FOID card. State police will also be notified anytime a local court determines that a person has a "mental disability" that might make that person unsuitable for gun ownership.