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New year, new state laws

Jan. 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Four hundred new state laws are in effect with the new year, and some of them are strange, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported.

Among the activities now illegal are allowing a hunting dog to chase a bear in California, release of a feral hog into the Kentucky wild and, for Illinois sex offenders, work as Santa, pass out Halloween candy or dress as the Easter Bunny.

California and Illinois are among a number of states banning employers from requesting social networking passwords or screen names from prospective employees, the news agency Politico reported Tuesday.

Illinois also made it a felony to have sex with a corpse, after years of relying on a court room charge of "criminal damage to property."

"The death of a loved one is bad enough, but it should be much more than criminal damaged property," state representative Daniel Beiser, who sponsored the bill, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "This is a completely appropriate charge."

Massachusetts repealed a law demanding every item in a grocery store to have a price label, opting instead for price scanners around the store, and New York banned the sale of electric cigarettes to children, Politico noted.

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