New State Laws Address Taxes, Housing Deregulation, Other Issues

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Pork production, the cost of dating apps and foam takeout containers are also the focus of laws to take effect in the new year.

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Animal-rights advocates say the rules protect against cruel treatment of farm animals, while pork producers say the space standards will make bacon more expensive and curb supplies at the nation’s largest pork market. A coalition of California restaurants and grocery stores has sued to block the regulation.

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Among California’s new labor laws are new restrictions on severance and settlement agreements. Employers may not enter into confidentiality agreements with employees that prevent employees from disclosing factual information related to any unlawful workplace harassment or discrimination allegations.

Another new California law prohibits large retailers from using productivity quotas at warehouse distribution centers that prohibit workers from taking food or rest breaks or that force workers to violate occupational health and safety laws.

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On the criminal-justice front, California is also eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses and criminalizing non-consensual removal of condoms during intercourse.

In an effort to reduce the housing shortage, which drives up prices and contributes to homelessness, both California and Connecticut are empowering qualified property owners by dividing up their lots, converting their homes into duplexes or using basements, attics or garages. allowing the addition of additional housing units. a housing unit.

In Arkansas, state agencies will be prohibited from conducting employee training sessions that teach whether the state or US is fundamentally racist or sexist or that one race or gender is inherently superior to another, among other concepts as divisive. Labeled in. Several other states have passed similar laws.

The state is cutting its top personal income tax rate from 5.9% to 5.5%, the first step in a multi-year tax cut backed by the Republican government. Asa Hutchinson.

Colorado is making it easier for singles to try out dating apps for free. A new law gives consumers of dating services three days to cancel their contract or subscription with a full refund.

A package of stringent marijuana regulations is also set to go into effect in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational pot. Among other regulatory changes passed in response to concerns over the health risks of teens and their access to highly potent marijuana, the new rules focused on the amount of marijuana with very high THC levels that consumers can buy in a day.

The law, the first of its kind in Illinois, prohibits law enforcement from interrogating minors by lying about the evidence they have collected or soliciting confessions with unauthorized promises of leniency.

In an effort to cut sugar consumption, the state also requires restaurants to make water, milk or 100% fruit juice the default drink in children’s meals. Consumers can still receive sugary drinks upon request.

Illinois public-school students ages 7 to 17 can now miss one week of classes for mental or behavioral health reasons under a new law that allows them to miss up to five days a year without a doctor’s note. gives. Another Illinois law protects students’ right to wear hairstyles “historically associated with race or ethnicity,” an anti-discrimination measure enacted in response to reports that a private school allowed 4-year-olds to wear black hair in braids. forbidden from.

Another new Illinois law specifies that children under the age of 16 can operate a lemonade stand without regulation, a measure that was enacted after reports that local health regulators in Kankakee County had banned an 11-year-old. The girl was forbidden to sell lemonade outside her house without a permit.

New York is banning restaurants, food trucks and grocers from using takeout containers made of polystyrene foam in an effort to reduce pollution. The same statewide law prohibits manufacturers and stores from using polystyrene foam packing peanuts.

The new year is ushering in a higher minimum wage in 21 states and dozens of cities and counties. According to the National Employment Law Project, as of January 1, more than 30 states, cities and counties will have pay levels of $15 or higher for some or all employers. On January 1, the minimum wage in the Silicon Valley cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View, Calif., along with large employers in Seattle, will go up to $17.

Write [email protected] . on Jacob Gershman

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