New Year, New Laws for US States

A new year brings a new mayor for New York City and new laws in many of the 50 U.S. states. 

Democrat Eric Adams was elected in November to be the next leader of the largest city in the United States. He succeeds Bill de Blasio, who served two terms as mayor, beginning in 2014. 

An inauguration ceremony planned for Saturday was postponed because of the rise in cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19. 

On the other side of the country, the city of Seattle is getting a new mayor as well, with Bruce Harrell assuming the post Saturday. 

Among the many new laws going into effect at the state level are increases in the minimum wage in a number of states, including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. 

Such laws are the result of legislation approved by state legislatures and governors, and in some cases, the minimum wage increases will go into effect in stages over the course of several years. 

Animal rights, voting rights 

Virginia has a new law preventing cosmetics companies from testing their products on animals. 

In Washington state, people who have served prison time for felony crimes now regain their right to vote as soon as they leave prison. 

Nevada is making it easier for people to cast their votes by mail with a new law requiring that all registered voters receive a ballot by mail for each election.

Helping others 

A new Texas law provides property tax exemptions for certain charity groups that provide housing or other aid to people experiencing homelessness. 

In Illinois, people who work at restaurants and truck stops will receive required training to help them identify potential instances of human trafficking and report suspected cases to authorities. 

A New Hampshire law strengthens penalties against people convicted of multiple offenses of drunken driving in cases where they harm or kill someone. 

A new law in Colorado will make it easier for people who were victims of sexual assault as children to report their assaults, removing the existing statute of limitations for prosecuting such lawsuits. 

Health, wellness 

The state of Connecticut is enacting caps on how much people pay for insulin and other diabetes management supplies. 

Montana is joining the states that allow recreational sales of marijuana. It will be legal in parts of the state where a majority of voters approved it. 

In Pennsylvania, the city of Philadelphia is banning employers from conducting pre-employment testing for marijuana. 

And in Missouri, health insurance providers must make coverage available for certain mental health conditions as part of their plans. 

 


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