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Smoking ban just one of 24+ new N.C. laws in 2010

A law prohibiting smoking in public businesses is just one of more than two dozen new North Carolina laws that took effect after the new year.
The smoking prohibition may have the largest impact of any of the new laws, but a new law requiring handicapped parking tags to have an expiration date visible from at least 20 feet away will also affect many residents.
The new handicap law will also require that the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles issue a “handicapped placard registration card” for the owner of the placard.
The state health plan will also receive updates this year with changes that focus on smoking cessation and weight management.
Other new laws include prohibiting lawyers from being named as beneficiaries in a will they prepare. The statute will also require each lawyer handling a will to put his or her name on it.
A new write-in candidate law will require candidates in any primary election to sign a pledge that says if they are defeated in the primary they will not run for the same office as a write-in candidate in the next general election.
Job seekers looking for only part-time work and spouses who quit their jobs to move to a new location for their partners new job will no longer be disqualified for unemployment insurance benefits.
A new law is also in effect this year that extends the amount of time an animal shelter must hold a lost dog or cat to at least 72 hours; the law also allows the shelter to send animals to a foster facility.
Local government officials are also now required to adopt a code of ethics and attend ethics training courses beginning this year.
A new law goes into effect this year concerning concealed weapon permits. Residents with a concealed weapon permit will now receive a notice from the county sheriff within 45 days before their permit expires to remind them to renew their license. For those who apply to renew their license, their current permit will remain valid until their renewal application is approved or denied.