Nearly 2 dozen new Louisiana laws kick in with 2015
BATON ROUGE - Nearly two dozen new laws take effect with the start of 2015 in Louisiana.
The measures were passed in the last legislative session. They are mostly minor changes, as most new laws approved by lawmakers each year begin in August.
Smoking will be banned near state-owned office buildings. Drunken driving statutes will be rewritten to clear up discrepancies. Payday lenders will have to offer no-fee installment plans. Teenagers or older will be able to register to vote when obtaining a driver's license, though they still won't be able to vote until they turn 18.
Also due Jan. 1 is a tally from law enforcement agencies of the number of untested rape kits on their shelves. The law is designed to quantify the backlog so it can be eliminated.