Mothers can publicly breastfeed children of any age, it’s open season on wild hogs and sky lanterns become illegal under new state laws that take effect Friday.
In all, more than 150 new state laws go on the books from this year’s legislative session. July 1 is the start of the state’s fiscal year and the effective date of most new laws.
Among the more offbeat of this year’s laws is the one lifting the 1-year age limit for babies who are publicly breastfed. Supporters said they wanted to eliminate the admittedly remote possibility that a breastfeeding mother might face charges of indecent exposure.
Other unusual new laws include one deleting wild hogs from the definition of big game in game and fish statutes, meaning licensed hunters across the state can shoot pigs like rabbits.
New state laws also:
* Add “unmanned free-floating devices capable of producing an open flame, such as, but not limited to, sky lanterns” to the definition of special fireworks, which are illegal except when they are set loose by licensed fireworks professionals.
* Add random killings like those of the “Beltway Sniper,” who murdered 10 people in the Washington area in 2002, to the list of aggravating factors for imposition of the death penalty.
* Authorize magistrates to require a defendant to wear a global positioning monitoring system as a condition of bail in any domestic violence or stalking case.
* Authorize the Tennessee Department of Transportation to sell advertising space like NASCAR racers on highway HELP trucks.
* Make the fine a flat $50 for displaying an obscene bumper sticker on your car.
* Delete politically incorrect terms such as “ idiot,” “lunatic” and “mentally retarded” from throughout the Tennessee code.