As We See It

On the books: A sampler of new Nevada laws

January 1 tends to be a day of non-action (i.e. nursing a hangover while watching all 683 minutes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy), but Nevada was productive to the tune of 45 new laws going into effect. Full details are on the Legislature’s website. If you don’t fancy mucking through them but are still kinda curious, here are three ways the state looks different in 2014.

Assembly Bill 354: You may have heard of BPA, a chemical that can leach into water and food through some plastic and metal-based containers. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA are still studying its health impacts, though the FDA website says both organizations “have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland” in young children. Some states have already enacted restrictions, and Nevada just joined them, prohibiting the manufacture, sale or distribution of vessels containing BPA that are designed for feeding kids under 4 (same goes for baby food and infant formula stored in such vessels).

Assembly Bill 89: This act authorizes and governs a new breed of business entity known as a “benefit corporation”—a for-profit company working not just for shareholders but also for “a material positive impact on society and the environment.” In taking on the designation, companies mandate their own creation of general public benefit outside of primary business functions, like promoting the arts or sustainability or assisting low-income individuals. And higher-ups must consider employees, the community and the planet when they make decisions.

Senate Bill 303: Nabbing national headlines, this law allows residents who fail to meet U.S. citizenship requirements to apply for driver authorization cards. The DMV is forbidden from sharing the information for immigration enforcement. Nevada is among 13 states and D.C. to adopt such a program, which backers say will make roads safer.

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