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Here Are Some New N.H. Laws Taking Effect On January 1st

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Year will bring plenty of new rules and regulations to New Hampshire, covering everything from police body cameras to the use of laser pointers. Here's a look at some of the bills that will officially be law as of January 1st:

There’s a change coming to the state’s right-to-know law in 2017. Now, members of the public will be guaranteed a minimum of information in the minutes of private sessions of public bodies, including the voting records of each member and a summary of what was discussed. Read those bills here and here.

There’s also a new law regarding police body camera use. The law won’t  require that officers use the cameras, but provides for the option in great detail, including how much of the information collected is subject to public release. Read that bill here.

There will also be changes pertaining to human trafficking statutes. Under a new law, paying for sexual engagement with a minor has been defined as human trafficking, and anyone convicted will be required to register as a sex offender. Read that bill here.

And New Hampshire only just defined and criminalized bestiality this year. It will officially be against the law as of January. Read that bill here.

Some of the most thorough legislation taking effect in January deals with off-highway recreational vehicles. They’re popular in the North Country, and pose an enforcement difficulty for police officers. The January first law, one of several passed in 2016 that pertain to OHRVs, will allow people to sue OHRV and snow mobile operators who damage their property. Read that bill here.

It will also soon be illegal to shine a laser at someone operating aircraft, a motor vehicle, or walking down the street. And you’ll lose your laser pointer. Read that bill here.

Hannah McCarthy first came to NHPR an intern in 2015, returned as a Fellow the following year and then bounced around as a reporter and producer before landing as co-host of Civics 101. She has reported on everything from the opioid epidemic to State House politics to haunted woods of New Hampshire.
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