In many other cases, state legislation can offer a window into what’s on the public’s mind. Here are some new laws that analysts say came out of recent, wide concerns:
• Prompted by the case of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, California coaches and administrators in K-12 schools and higher-education employees who have regular contact with children are now mandated to report suspected child abuse.
• “Caylee’s Laws” take effect in both California and Illinois. The legislation – named after the 2-year-old daughter of Florida’s Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of the girl’s murder despite waiting a month before reporting her disappearance – imposes strong penalties for a parent or guardian who fails to report the disappearance or death of a child within 24 hours.