Tuesday December 27, 2011

Among lesser-known laws going into effect in 2012 in New York are the following:

* Health insurance plans will be required to cover orally administered chemotherapy treatments.

* An increase in the minimum distance between military funerals and protesters, from 100 feet to 300 feet away from the funeral or any related services. (Many counties, including Washington and Rensselaer, have enacted greater restrictions.)

* A ban on the sale of hookahs, water pipes, and shisha to minors. ("Shisha" is any product made primarily of tobacco, smoked in a hookah or water pipe.)

* A new law will strengthen DEC’s authority to ban products that contain mercury.

* A new law will further reduce the number of commercial fishing licenses and permits issued by DEC to ensure the economic viability of the commercial and consumer fishing industry.

* A requirement that dental health facilities possess automatic external defibrillators on their premises.

* A new law bans the possession and sale of bear gallbladder and bile, a commodity used in some forms of ancient medicine. In New York, black bears have been illegally killed for their gallbladders and bile, and the state was one of only five without a restriction on the trade.

* A new law will ban the sale of household dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorus (a ban on phosphorus dish detergents used commercially will not take effect until July 1, 2013). The new law also places new limitations on the use of phosphorous-containing lawn fertilizers.

* A new law will strengthen DEC’s authority to ban products that contain mercury.

* A new law will further reduce the number of commercial fishing licenses and permits issued by DEC to ensure the economic viability of the commercial and consumer fishing industry.

* An authorization for the removal of fire commissioners for dereliction of duties including having an excessive number of unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings.

* A new law requires motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors to get the consent of franchised motor vehicle dealers to participate in sales promotion programs that include an expense for the dealer.

-- Zeke Wright