Back in September we wrote about what we thought for sure would be the wackiest new state law passed in 2016. The law came from the state of California (of course) and demanded a 40% reduction in methane gas from cow flatulence by 2030. Here's what we had to say about the bill:
In yet another attack on California businesses, yesterday Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 1383) that requires the state to cut methane emissions from dairy cows and other animals by 40% by 2030. The bill is yet another massive blow to the agricultural industry in the state of California that has already suffered from the Governor's passage of a $15 minimum wage and a recent bill that makes California literally the only state in the entire country to provide overtime pay to seasonal agricultural workers after working 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day (see "California Just Passed A $1.7 Billion Tax On The Whole Country That No One Noticed").
According to a statement from Western United Dairymen CEO, Anja Raudabaugh, California's Air Resources Board wants to regulate animal methane emissions even though it admits there is no known method for achieving the the type of reduction sought by SB 1383.
"The California Air Resources Board wants to regulate cow emissions, even though its Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) reduction strategy acknowledges that there’s no known way to achieve this reduction."
This guy even invented a handy backpack for cows to store their farts...not such a dumb idea anymore, now is it?
But Californians aren't the only ones that will be facing some wacky new laws in 2017. As The Hill points out, Illinois residents who prefer to spear catfish with a pitchfork will be in full compliance with state laws after Sunday, but Oregonians who want to release sky lanterns are shit out of luck.
Meanwhile, Illinois adopted a new State Artifact, the pirogue, while California passed a ton of other amazing bills including one that allows hair dressers to serve wine to their guests, provided they don't charge for it, of course, a new requirement that autographed memorabilia being sold for more than $5 come with a "certificate of authenticity," and one that allows you to break into a hot or cold car to save an animal, as long as you call authorities first.
When the new year rings in, Illinois will also have an official State Artifact — the pirogue, a long, narrow canoe used by Native Americans. The pirogue will take its place alongside the official state snack food (popcorn), the official state fossil (the Tully Monster), the official state dance (the square dance) and the official state insect (the monarch butterfly).
California's most contentious legislative fights over the last year involved new measures on gun control and climate change. But members also found time to allow barbers and beauticians to serve their patrons beer and wine, provided they don't charge for it.
Sacramento also decided to impose stricter rules on those who would sell autographed memorabilia. Any signed item being sold for more than $5 will have to come with a certificate of authenticity once January rolls around.
And California state employees will no longer be reimbursed for out-of-state travel to places that allow discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. That law, passed after North Carolina and other states passed measures requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of their birth sex, is likely to impact everything from state employees who want to travel to a conference to the University of California system's football schedule.
In New England, cider brewers in Maine will be able to increase the alcohol content of their batches to 8.5% from 7% while New Hampshire banned bestiality...and while we knew there wasn't much to do in "The Hampshire" we had no idea this was actually a problem.
In Maine, brewers will be able to up the alcohol in their cider to 8.5 percent, from 7 percent. In Colorado, some grocery stores will be able to sell beer, wine and liquor. In Pennsylvania, a state with notoriously stringent alcohol laws passed in the wake of Prohibition, beer distributors will be able to sell six packs for the first time.
New Hampshire residents need to be much more careful with laser pointers. Beginning Sunday, it will be a crime to knowingly shine a laser at an aircraft or automobile. The Granite State is also outlawing bestiality, which has somehow remained officially legal in New Hampshire until Sunday morning.
Finally, here are the states where Doritos consumption is set to sky rocket in the new year.
Other states will liberalize marijuana laws on January 1. Revelers on the Las Vegas Strip will be able to legally possess marijuana for recreational purposes when the clock strikes midnight, and those with medical conditions will have access to marijuana in North Dakota, Florida, Arkansas and Montana. And in Michigan, medical marijuana dispensaries will finally gain legal status, years after the state approved medical sales.
Three other states — California, Massachusetts and Maine — passed marijuana legalization measures in November. The new laws have already been implemented in California and Massachusetts, and Maine will join them later in January.
And you thought politicians were useless...