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Fishing with your hands is just one of the new state laws that go into effect today

September 1, 2011

Nearly 1,500 new laws enacted during this year's session of the Texas Legislature went into effect today. Among the most notable changes are:

Speed limits

After Sept. 1, Texas highways will no longer have different speed limits during the day and at night. The new law also lets transportation officials raise limits to 75 mph in remote areas. (HB1353)

Lottery tickets

Texans buying the Veterans Cash $2 scratch-off ticket should know that the money they pay will still help veterans. This measure by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is in effect to ensure that money will not be diverted from the Texas Veterans Commission fund for veterans' assistance. (SB1739)

Fishing

Texans can now legally fish for catfish using their hands rather than a pole — known as noodling. They just need the required license and freshwater-fishing stamp. A separate law lets Texans 80 and older fish without a license. (HB2189, HB550)

Driver's education

Driver's education instructors will have to undergo background checks starting Sept. 1. The measure that Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, worked on lets the Texas Education Agency revoke licenses given to people who have been convicted of certain felonies, including sex offenses. (HB2678)

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