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Ban On Smoking in Beaches, Parks Among NJ Laws Taking Effect in 2019

A ban on smoking at public beaches, a state mandate for health insurance and the ability for courts to take away guns from people who pose a danger are among the laws going into effect in the new year in New Jersey.

There are about two dozen new laws taking effect in 2019, according to a tally kept by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

A handful of them grabbed headlines when they passed.

One law that drew attention makes it easier for transgender residents to get amended birth certificates.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill banning smoking at the state's public beaches and parks in July, though local communities can opt out and designate small smoking sections.

The law takes effect Jan. 16.

The law doesn't specify who will be responsible for enforcing it. Murphy said it shouldn't be lifeguards, but he left it up to towns to decide. Senate President Steve Sweeney, who sponsored the bill, said lifeguards or local police could be called on to enforce the ban.

The ban also bars vaping but allows towns to set up smoking areas on 15 percent of any given beach or park. Smokers will also be allowed to light up in parking lots.

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