From plastic bags to natural hair, here are the new laws coming in 2020
January 25, 2021
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Updated 12:10 PM ET, Wed January 1, 2020
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Minimum wages are going up
Content by Sam’s ClubShopping for groceries
has never been easierThere are always plenty
of reasons to take advantage of Sam’s Club’s
curbside Pickup, from the stores’ enormous
selection to the great member prices.Good news
for workers.The minimum wage is set to go up
in 72 jurisdictions in 2020, according to the
advocacy group National Employment Law
Project.Most of those changes are set to begin
on the first day of 2020, though New York’s pay
raise is set to begin December 31, 2019,
“These increases will put much-needed money
into the hands of the lowest-paid workers, many
of whom struggle with high and ever-increasing
costs of living,” researcher and policy analyst
Yannet Lathrop wrote in a blog post about the
new wages.But let us not forget that the
federal minimum wage has remained unchange
since 2009, at $7.25 an hour.
You’ll get more control over your data
There’s a reason your inbox has been getting spammed with privacy notices lately. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the nation’s toughest privacy law, is set to take effect starting Wednesday.Why you’re suddenly getting spammed with privacy emails United States — the law has already prompted other states to consider their own privacy measures.
More people can sue over sexual abuse
As the #MeToo movement inspired more people to come forward with their experiences of sexual abuse, some states are relaxing their deadlines to bring lawsuits for previous offenses.California will suspend the statute of limitations for three years beginning January 1, giving victims of all ages the chance to pursue prosecution. The state is also expanding the statute of limitations for
childhood victims of sexual abuse.
Under the new law, victims will have until age 40 or five years from the time the abuse was discovered to file civil lawsuits.Illinois will remove the statute of limitations on criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, regardless of the age of the victim.The state eliminated time limits on prosecuting sex crimes against minors in 2017, but adult victims still faced a ticking clock. Previously, prosecutors had 10 years to bring charges, but the offense must first have been reported to law enforcement within three years.
States tighten and loosen gun laws
After another year of mass shootings and heated debates over gun control, states are taking action.Colorado’s controversial ‘red flag’ gun bill becomes law. Some sheriffs would rather go to jail than enforce itColorado is among the states enacting gun restrictions — its “red flag” law takes effect January 1. The law allows family, household members and law enforcement to petition for a court order to temporarily take guns away from an individual deemed to be in danger of hurting themselves or others.A number of the state’s counties have declared themselves as Second Amendment “sanctuaries,” Meanwhile, Tennessee is moving in the other direction, making it easier for residents to receive a concealed carry handgun permit.
Weed is legal in Illinois
Pot smokers in the Midwest, rejoice.Anyone 21 and older can buy and possess recreational marijuana in Illinois beginning in the new year.Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuanaUnder the law, Illinois residents will be able to purchase and possess 30 grams of cannabis, five grams of cannabis concentrate and cannbis-infused products containing no more than 500 milligrams of THC. People who don’t live in Illinois can buy half of each of those amounts.Medical patients can buy marijuana seeds and grow up to five plants at home, as long as the plants are kept out of public view. The law also pardons individuals with nonviolent convictions for amounts of cannabis up to 30 grams.
No more cash bail
New York state becomes the latest to end the money bail system, which critics call “wealth-based incarceration.”Wednesday, the state eliminates money bail for nearly all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony cases. The new law could free thousands of incarcerated people from pretrial detention, according to a preliminary analysis by the Center for Court Innovation.But there are exceptions, including cases involving sex crimes, domestic violence, witness intimidation or tampering and terrorism-related charges, among others.
Plastic bags are out
It’s always a good idea to bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store.But starting in 2020, forgetting them at home could cost you.Oregon is the latest state to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, requiring shoppers to bring their own bags or pay a small fee for paper ones.The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is also gearing up for a similar eco-friendly initiative.Single-use plastic bags, including compostable bags and plastic ones less than 2.25 millimeters thick, will be ban, according to CNN affiliate KRQE.
No more texting while driving
You really might want to think twice before sending out that text while you’re stop at an intersection.Starting Wednesday, law enforcement officers in Florida will begin writing tickets for drivers caught texting and driving. Tickets will be $30 for non-moving violations and $60 for moving violations. The fines go up even more if you’re speeding.Massachusetts enacts a similar law later in the year.Starting February 23, drivers in the state will be banned from texting and generally using their phone while driving, although Bluetooth and “hands-free” modes will be allow.Law enforcement officers will issue warnings only for the first month or so, but after March 31, drivers can expect to be fin.
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Cyclists can breeze through stop signs
Cyclists have long had to abide by the same traffic laws as their motorized companions — much to their annoyance. In Oregon, that’s going to change.Gone are the days of coming to a complete stop at every stop sign, even when no one else is around. A new state law that goes into effect on New Year’s Day allows cyclists to treat stop signs and blinking red lights as yields.buy weed online cheap
African-Americans can embrace their natural hair
Black students and employees in California can finally feel free to be themselves.Wednesday, the Golden State becomes the first in the United States to ban employers and school officials from discriminating against people based on their natural hair.
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Your middle schooler might need a car seat
Kids are not going to be happy about this.A new law in Washington state could keep children in booster seats until they’re almost in middle school.The law requires children who have outgrown harness seats to sit in booster seats until they are at least four feet, 9 inches tall.According to the Washington State Patrol, kids can ditch the booster seats once they’re older than 13, KREM reported.
CNN’s Leah Asmelash, Kerry Flynn, Veronica Stracqualursi, Nicole Chavez and Faith Karimi contributed to this report.