Des Moines, Iowa — A host of new state laws take effect today. They address issues as diverse as sledding on city property and selling beer by the “growler.”
Governor Branstad has yet to take action on about a dozen budget bills passed by the 2015 legislature, but the governor has approved a host of policy-related bills over the past several months.
One offers new liability protections to cities that allow sledding on city-owned property like golf courses and parks. Another new state law doubles the size of the privacy zone around military funerals, to keep protesters farther away. Bars and convenience stores will now be able to sell customers who have a re-sealable vessel called a “growler” up to 72 ounces of carry-out beer. And schools may now keep “epi pens” on hand to treat students who suffer an allergy attack.
The Iowa DOT now has permission to try blue and white lights on some of their snowplows. The idea is it’s easier to see blue and white than the current amber lights.
Other new laws include a tax break for coin-operated laundries and guidelines for strip-searches in jails.
Most new laws start July first, but there were some notable exceptions this year including a 10-cent hike in the gas tax and the setting of the school start date no earlier than August 23rd. Both of those took effect earlier this year.
Radio Iowa assisted with this story.