Nightly News | January 01, 2012
>>> as on each new year's day, the turning of the calendar means new laws are in effect. in maine, for example, it became illegal to smoke in public housing . 12,000 tenants are affected there. nbc's pete williams now with more on the many new rules on the books.
>> reporter: new laws in effect as of today require some voters in this year's elections to show photo i.d.s before getting a ballot. kansas, texas and tennessee are the latest to strictly require them, joining five other states that already do. rhode island and new hampshire will ask for them, but allow voting if other identification is provided, joining seven states that already do that. republicans strongly support the growing push for photo i.d.s.
>> we want to make sure that once you're properly registered, when you show up to vote, you're voting one time, and you're voting for yourself and not for somebody else.
>> reporter: but because some minorities or elderly voters don't have i.d.s, it may hamper turnout. as of today, tanning beds are off limits to anyone under 18 in california. the first state to bar miners from using them. sponsors say skin cancer has become an epidemic among young women . beginning this week, the nation's commercial truck and bus drivers face stiff fines if they use handheld cell phones at the wheel. truck drivers are three times more likely to get involved in a crash while simply reaching for a phone, studies say. six times more likely while dialing. in illinois, a new law requires all passengers in a car, not just the driver, to wear a seat belt . violators can get a $60 ticket. more than 60 million americans who get social security are in for a cost of living increase starting today. the average recipient it will mean about $450 more this year. san francisco becomes the first city to raise the minimum wage of $10, it goes to $10.24 an hour, $3 higher than the federal minimum. as of today, illinois residents can no longer throw their worn out electronics into the trash. for discarded computers, tvs and other devices, out with the old now means recycling. pete williams , nbc news, washington.