Nightly News   |  January 01, 2014

New Year, New Laws — Lots of Them

The start of 2014 ushers in a variety of new legislation across the nation. From voting rules to regulations on flicking cigarette butts out of car windows, this New Year has some new guidelines. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> the start of the new year brings a range of new laws that go into effect starting today. from limits on the use of drones to the end of a familiar source of light in every home. more from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> reporter: starting today in illinois, police must get a court order before they can launch drones to spy from the sky. it's the latest response to the rapid development of tiny aircraft that carry cameras, a prospect that worrieses civil libertarians .

>> the drone can be marking your every movement including in your own backyard.

>> reporter: under a new california law children from kindergarten from high school must be allowed to choose whether to play on the boys or girls teams and which bathroom to use based on gender identity instead of the t t gender they were born with. supporters say it will cut down on discrimination and bullying.

>> this is not people looking for a thrill by going into the opposite gender bathroom. these are people who feel they have belonged this the opposite bathroom all along.

>> reporter: after enduring long lines at the polls during the last election florida passed a law offering more chances for early voting. also starting today, connecticut becomes is latest state to allow online voter registration . the last phase of a gradual ban on incandescent lightbulbs kicks in. as of today it is illegal to make or import them. once existing stocks are sold, they will disappear from store shelves. in oregon it is now a violation to smoke in the car if anyone under 18 is riding along. rolling down the window won't make it legal. illinois makes it against the law to flick cigarette butts out the window with a stiff fine for repeat offenders.

>> i don't litter. i throw it in a trash can. if i were to accidentally throw out t it out the window, $ 1500 is excessive.

>> reporter: and a new sales tax on drinks in restaurants untaxed before today . pete williams , nbc news, washington.