Oregon is ringing in the new year with more than a dozen new laws. Though the vast majority of bills passed this year by the state legislature have already taken effect, the Oregonian has a roundup of a few noteworthy ones that went into affect January 1st. Some highlights:
E-fare transit: TriMet and other Oregon transit systems that adopt cash-free electronic fare systems can keep the unused balances on accounts, instead of sending the money to the state as is normally required under unclaimed property law.
Whistleblower protections: The new law will protect government and certain nonprofit employees who share information on potential corruption, fraud or abuse with lawmakers, other government officials and law enforcement.
Sky lanterns: No more celebrating the holidays or special ceremonies with sky lanterns. As Oregon firefighters battle increasingly severe wildfires, state lawmakers outlawed the miniature hot air balloons, and people who violate the ban face as much as $2,000 in fines.