Saddle up: Oregon’s horse tripping ban and other new laws kick off 2014

By   /   January 3, 2014  /   No Comments

NO HORSE TRIPPING: A ban on horse tripping and other new Oregon laws went into effect Wednesday.

NO HORSE TRIPPING: A ban on horse tripping and other new Oregon laws went into effect Wednesday.

By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog

Put down that lasso, Oregonians. With a new year comes new laws. One of those is a ban on horse tripping.

The need to ban horse tripping will likely strike those outside Oregon as odd, but here it was widely controversial. After much debate, the Legislature passed a law that bans intentional horse tripping — tripping the horse by its front legs when it is moving fast and done for entertainment — not when it’s done for medical purposes or normal horse management, and the horse is first roped around the neck.

The bill in its original form sparked an outcry from rural Oregonians who saw it as an attack from outsiders in the Portland metropolitan area. Even after it was amended to target intentional horse tripping, it sill got a few nay votes.

The law, like many others, takes effect this month.

From increased regulation to upped fines and fees, some new laws that took effect Wednesday will likely make fiscally conscious and pro-limited government types cringe.

Tobacco taxes: Taxes on a pack of cigarettes went up 13 cents to $1.31 thanks to a special session budget deal. The price per pack is significantly less than Washington, but more than California and Idaho. Guess what happens when you hike cigarette taxes too high? The black market rejoices.

Texting while driving: Better put down that phone. The new fine for texting while driving in Oregon can reach up to $500.

Red light cameras: Police can now use red light camera photos in Oregon for more than just traffic violations. The new law allows police to use red light camera photos in criminal cases involving felonies, Class A misdemeanors and red light running infractions.

Teen tanning: Anyone under 18 years old is now banned from using a tanning bed at a salon, with the exception of those who have a doctor’s note recommending the tanning bed be used for medical purposes.

Smoking in cars: Drivers are no longer allowed to smoke if there are children in the car.

Minimum wage: The minimum wage in Oregon is now up 15 cents to $9.10 an hour. A ballot measure passed in 2002 directs the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to increase the minimum wage annually, based on inflation.

Contact Shelby Sebens at [email protected]

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Shelby formerly served as staff reporter for