More than 100 laws passed by the New Mexico state legislature go into effect Friday. While many of them are what you’d expect from a state that faced a $450 million budget deficit, others inexplicably stand out. Here are some of the more thought-provoking decrees:
�New Mexico doctors who perform breast mastectomies are now required to inform their patients of the option for breast reconstruction. Sen. Timothy Jennings (D-Roswell), who wrote the law, lost his wife to breast cancer.
�Students who like to ditch school can have up to 10 days of unexcused absences before the state defines them as "habitual truants."
�Teachers can't whack their kids upside the head anymore. A law banning corporal punishment in schools goes into effect today. But Mom and Dad can still go wild. At the time she signed it into law, Gov. Susana Martinez referred to corporal punishment as a decision "best left to a parent."
�New Mexico has numerous state songs and symbols. Sen. George Munoz's (D-Gallup) law adds to that depth by making the Native American squash blossom necklace the state's official necklace.
�Dead service members are no longer on the state's jury list.
�The state commission of public records can now accept private donations as long as they specify what agency function they're meant for.
�Leave your livestock gate closed. Starting today, fines for leaving it open spike from between $5 and $10 to between $250 and $1,000.
�Advertisers who say their chile contains New Mexico chile peppers had better make sure those peppers were grown in the state. If not, they can now be sued under the Unfair Practices Act.
�Got one too many Xanax pills? People who have an excess use of prescription drugs are allowed to return them to the doctor's office. Doctors are also allowed to prescribe the recycled medicine to new patients.
�Public schools are now required to make guidelines to curb school bullying. Each school needs to have a bullying prevention program up-and-running by August 2012.
You can read lengthy details about all the new laws and more here.