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Start of August Brings More Than 200 New Laws for Louisiana


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana children can bring sunscreen to school without a doctor's note, minors face tougher restrictions for getting an abortion and colleges can't ask unlimited questions about applying students' criminal histories, as new state laws take effect Tuesday.

More than 200 changes to state statutes hit the books with the start of August, passed in the regular legislative session that ended in June. Many provisions likely will draw little attention, but others affect traffic laws, criminal sentences, health care and school governance.

Littering fines are changing, free parking is required for disabled veterans at airports and school bus drivers are now called bus operators in Louisiana law.

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EDUCATION CHANGES

Several new laws affect Louisiana's K-12 public schools.

Students no longer need permission from a doctor or their school to use sunscreen on campus, on a school bus or at a school function. If a student can't apply the sunblock, a school employee can do it, if a parent gives written consent.

While 38 of the state's 69 school districts allow schools to use corporal punishment, paddling will be outlawed for students with disabilities. Estimates are as many as one-fifth of students fit the law's description, including students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Students in grades kindergarten through five have to be taught litter prevention and awareness so they understand "the vital role they play in preserving the beauty of the state."

At Louisiana's colleges, a "ban the box" law restricts the questions that can be asked about criminal history to determine admission. Schools can ask about convictions for stalking, rape and sexual battery. After granting admission, they also can ask about convictions to decide if they'll limit participation in campus programs, financial aid and housing. FULL ARTICLE

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