On January 1, 2014 hundreds and hundreds of new laws went into effect in the state of Texas. Almost none of this will have any direct effect on your life and are nothing more than bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo. A very few, however, might actually be something you’d be interested in knowing about. I have selected five.

1.) Cocktails Will Cost More


Did you know that up until last Wednesday, beer and wine at bars and restaurants were taxed but mixed drinks weren’t? Neither did I. That has all changed, though, as your Tom Collinses and Pina Coladi will now be taxed at a rate of 8.25%.  Looks like I picked the right year to quit my Colorado Bulldog habit.





2.) You’ll Have to Take a Drug Test Before you Get Welfare

 This applies to first-time applicants for unemployment benefits so I guess that means longtime druggies/drains on society can continue to suckle at the public teat. But, if it’s your first time, you’ll have to take a preliminary written test for drugs. If the test shows that the applicant is likely to be a drug-user, the applicant will have to pass a drug test.

Now, I’ve never taken a drug test but if I had to, I think “written exam” would be the easiest to pass.

 Q: Do you take drugs?


A.)  Yes

B.)    No

      You’d have to be on some pretty serious drugs to fail that test.



3.) Service Animals for PTSD OK to go Anywhere


 Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder will be allowed to take their service animals anywhere seeing-eye dogs go…airplanes, schools, restaurants…you name it. What is interesting about this is that service animals for people with PTSD aren’t necessarily dogs. Or cats. Or even mammals.  I’m just wondering how this will play out when someone finds themselves seated in a dark movie theatre next to a veteran and his service anaconda.




4.) Added Rights for Apartment Tenants

 Apartment residents in “all-bills-paid” apartments must be notified if a utility is going to be shut off because the landlord hasn’t paid the bill.

 Also, victims of domestic violence are now allowed to break their lease if they feel their safety is at risk.


5.) New Tanning Salon Rules


Salons can no longer permit anyone under18, even with parental permission. Don’t like it, tanners? Blame tan Mom.  I wonder if next year Texas beaches will be banned from allowing under-18 sunbathers?