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New Laws Address Gays, Children, Immigration

In Delaware, state officials must request an annual credit report for every child in foster care.

Among other new laws:

â¿¿ Alabama begins cracking down on the state's 900,000 uninsured drivers with a new system that allows instant checks by police, license plate offices and the state Revenue Department.

â¿¿ A pair of laws in Georgia and Pennsylvania address the shortfalls faced by some states from the cost of unemployment benefits by raising employers' contributions to unemployment compensation trust funds.

â¿¿ In New Mexico, drivers registering their car or truck will be able to donate $1 or $5 to a state fund that supports programs and services to veterans, such as assistance in finding a job or treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In Utah, U.S. military personnel will be exempted from having to pay a full year's property taxes after their return from 200 days of active duty in any calendar year.

â¿¿ In Florida, it will no longer be illegal to flash your headlights to warn oncoming drivers that police are lurking on the roadside ahead. The legislation was introduced after drivers were ticketed for warning other motorists that officers may be trying to catch speeders on the highway.

â¿¿ A California law bans the use of dogs when hunting bobcats or bears, while Wisconsin's expansion of its hunting seasons in state parks to a month in autumn and another in April was a scaled-back version of a proposal that would have allowed hunting across a seven-month period from mid-October to late May. Residents reacted to the longer proposal with thousands of angry letters and emails.

Most people who opposed the measure said they would stop bringing their families to state parks if there were a chance of being struck by a stray bullet or of a pet straying into an animal trap. Supporters countered that hunting has long been a Wisconsin tradition and that hunters were well-versed in practicing safe techniques.

___

Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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