CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Laws prohibiting discrimination against
transgender people, tightening penalties for animal cruelty, making
roads safer for bicyclists and providing added foreclosure fraud
protections for homeowners are among 141 new laws passed by the
2011 Legislature that take effect Saturday.
Here is a summary of some of the new laws effective Oct. 1:
-Transgender discrimination: Three new laws prohibit transgender
discrimination in the workplace, in housing transactions and in
"public accommodations" such as a store, bar or restaurant.
-Foreclosure: Foreclosure documents must be filed in the county where property is located and a lender must provide a notarized
affidavit detailing their legal right to proceed. The law also gives the Nevada attorney general more enforcement authority over foreclosure fraud.
-Animals: One law makes it a felony to willfully harm a pet or to hurt a pet as a way to terrorize its owner. Another requires breeders to get permits from the county and microchip and vaccinate the animals before they are sold, and prohibits breeding female dogs younger than 18 months old. Another law allows the donation of unused animal medicines to a veterinarian for distribution to other pets.
-Bicycle safety: Motorists are required to keep at least 3 feet away from bicyclists when passing them and to move into the left lane if possible.
-Sex trafficking: Victims of sex trafficking forced to work as prostitutes can petition a judge to have their prostitution convictions vacated to help them begin a new life.
-Identity theft: Prosecutors will have more time to file charges in identity theft cases targeting children, who often don't know their identity has been stolen and their credit destroyed until they become adults.
-Guns: Information about investigations or the identities of people who have concealed weapon permits are confidential. Also, a new law streamlines the concealed permit process for semi-automatic weapons by requiring a permit applicant to demonstrate competency in handling one of that type of weapon, instead of qualifying separately for each semi-automatic gun they own.
-Elections: Political action committees face new restrictions on how much they can contribute to a political campaign. Candidates must also report campaign contributions and expenditures before early voting begins.
-Pregnant inmates: Correctional officers cannot use restraints on a prisoner who is in labor, delivering a baby or recuperating from delivery unless the prisoner presents a risk of harm or flight. If restraints are used in such circumstance, they must be the least restrictive necessary.
-Wildlife: Poachers and hunters are subject to tougher civil penalties for illegal taking of trophy big game animals and other wildlife violations.
-Graffiti: Property owners can sue the parents of children who deface their property with graffiti. The new law also makes it a felony to deface historical or archaeological sites.