New Laws

This week marks a new beginning for many Georgia businesses. There are several new laws going into effect in the Peach State.

Georgia residents will need to adjust accordingly, because starting Friday there are new laws on the books. One that's most controversial deals with smoking.

If you like to light up in restaurants, bars, or public buildings, you'll need to leave the matches at home. A smoking law for the Peach State bans cigarettes and cigars at all three places.

The only stipulation: you can smoke if the bar or restaurant doesn't have anyone 18 or younger in the building. All violators face a $100 to $500 fine.

Also on Friday, those who use handicapped parking permits will need to renew them more often. Premarital counseling will lighten the load when it comes to paying for a marriage license.

And the green tree frog has finally made it big time. The slimy but cute character is now the official state amphibian.

Finally, this July 1 may go down in history for all you catfish lovers. Ever heard of noodling? It's where you actually catch the catfish with your bare hands, and Georgia law now allows folks to do this legally.

Those are some of the new laws on the books in Georgia starting this week. This year’s Legislature was the first completely controlled by Republicans.