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Washington, Nov 2 (UiTV/IANS) – More than 200 new laws officially took effect in the US state of Oklahoma, running the gamut from limiting pesky spam calls to more government transparency and ensuring health insurance coverage of diagnostic mammograms.
One of the laws that came into force on Tuesday will allow renters to make essential home repairs without having to pay the bill, Xinhua news agency reported.
The deduction of tenants’ repair costs from their rent, which previously was only up to $100, can now be up to one month’s total.
Another state law will prohibit calls before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m., as well as spam calls that block the caller’s number or alter the voice.
However, it won’t end all robocalls because the state cannot regulate calls from out of state.
Stealing a catalytic converter, tires or wheels from a vehicle is now punishable by $5,000 or five years in prison. There has been a dramatic rise in catalytic converter thefts across the state in the past few years.
To address youth mental health issues, school districts and charter schools have to print the state suicide prevention number on student IDs until the summer of 2023. Colleges and universities, though not required, are also encouraged to follow suit.
At the state Capitol, when the Governor appoints a cabinet secretary or head of state agency, they will have to disclose investments and income.
Republican Governor Kevin Stitt vetoed the bill but state lawmakers overturned it.
Across the state, insurance companies are now required to cover mammograms and any other diagnostic imaging as ordered by a doctor so as to advance women’s healthcare.
Starting Tuesday, Oklahoma has also become the 30th state to allow self-driving cars on public roadways, with or without a human driver behind the wheel.
The law requires the state’s Department of Public Safety must now define new laws and regulations for the future.
The state also puts restrictions on electric scooters. Riders must be at least 14 years old and the maximum allowed speed is officially 35 miles per hour.
Under related new laws, all school libraries in the state must abide by community standards in regard to providing age-appropriate material, according to a report from local radio broadcaster KLAW.
Libraries and content censorship have been a hot topic in recent years in many states including Oklahoma.
One of the laws stipulates that all libraries — school, university, public, and state agencies — must institute protections and content filters to ensure young students, kindergarten through 12th grade, cannot send, receive, or view pornographic and/or obscene materials.
Some new state laws are sure to create debate and argument between those on the far edge of political sides, said the KLAW report.