New Laws Address Gays, Children, Immigration
States continue to wrestle with illegal immigration. Pennsylvania will include a requirement that contractors on public works projects make sure through the federal E-Verify system that their employees are legal U.S. residents, while a Montana ballot measure taking effect denies illegal immigrants of state services.
Supporters say the Montana law will prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining services and prevent them from taking jobs at a time of high unemployment. Opponents argued there is no proof illegal immigrants are using state services in Montana.
Also in Montana, voters overwhelmingly passed a measure requiring parental notification for minors' abortions, while in Georgia a new law will prohibit doctors from performing an abortion 20 weeks after an egg is fertilized unless a pregnancy is determined to be medically futile, meaning it would result in the birth of a child unlikely to survive because of a serious defect. Georgia became the seventh state in the country to approve the so-called fetal pain act.
"Today, we are reaffirming Georgia's commitment to preserving the sanctity of all human life," Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement released shortly after he signed the bill in May.The measure passed over the objection of many female lawmakers, including Sen. Valencia Seay, who said the bill's passage and signing was "unconscionable, but not surprising" and typical of the male-dominated General Assembly. New Hampshire enacts a ban on a type of late-term abortion procedure sometimes called "partial birth abortion" after lawmakers overrode the veto of Gov. John Lynch, who said the measure was unnecessary because federal law already prohibits such procedures. Supporters of the ban say they don't trust the government to prosecute the law. In Maryland, parents will be able to freeze their child's credit at any time if the child becomes a victim of identity theft. "This just freezes the information to ensure that it's not used for ill purposes," said Delegate Craig Zucker, a Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Maryland House of Delegates.
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