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Unemployment, casino bills among new Missouri laws taking effect

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Wealthy gamblers could find it easier to make big bets at Missouri casinos while some fired employees could encounter greater difficulties getting jobless benefits as a result of some of the many new state laws that took effect Thursday.

The Missouri Constitution sets Thursday as the standard effective date for laws passed during the annual legislative session that ended in May, unless the bills specifically set earlier or later starting dates.

Some of this year's most high-profile measures contained clauses delaying their effect until future years, including a rewrite of the state's criminal laws and a gradual income tax cut that won't kick in until at least 2017.

A new law requiring teenagers younger than 17 to get written parental consent to use tanning beds also apparently will be delayed by several months. It contained wording requiring the state health department to first adopt a rule creating a standardized consent form.

A health department spokesman said the proposed rule was being filed Thursday with the secretary of state's office. The proposal will have to be published, undergo a public comment period and published again, which could delay the distribution of the youth-tanning-permission forms into 2015.

Other highly publicized measures, such as new abortion restrictions and special business tax breaks, were vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon and would take effect only if lawmakers vote to override him during a Sept. 10 session.

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