New laws for 2019

With the new year comes a whole slew of new laws, as previously passed legislation takes effect.

For us taxpayers in North Carolina, we have a lower income tax! Patrick Gleason has the details at

When the clock strikes midnight to mark the start of 2019 on the east  coast, North Carolina’s personal income tax rate of 5.499% will drop to  5.25%. The state’s 3% corporate tax will decline to 2.5%. This latest  round of state tax relief, enacted as part of the budget approved in  2017 by the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly, takes  effect one year after a vast majority of North Carolinians received a federal income tax cut from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. 

Elsewhere, businesses aren't so lucky - as they'll be forced to pay a higher minimum wage to employees.

From FOX News:

Meanwhile, new minimum-wage requirements will take effect in 20  states and nearly two dozen cities around the start of the new year,  affecting millions of workers. The state wage hikes range from an extra  nickel per hour in Alaska to a $1-an-hour bump in Maine, Massachusetts  and for California employers with more than 25 workers.

Seattle's  largest employers will have to pay workers at least $16 an hour starting  Tuesday. In New York City, many businesses will have to pay at least  $15 an hour as of Monday. That's more than twice the federal minimum of  $7.25 an hour.

Also, states will start collecting sales taxes from out-of-state retailers, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2018.

Some other laws taking effect:

  • You'll need to be 16 years old to get married in New Hampshire - instead of 13 for girls and 14 for boys, as was the case before Jan. 1.
  • Employers in Delaware and California are mandated to provide sexual harassment prevention training.
  • California will require public-traded companies to have a woman on their corporate boards.
  • You'll be legally intoxicated in Utah at a .05 blood alcohol content level.
  • Convicted drunk drivers in Idaho will be forced to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles.
  • Louisiana juries will need to be unanimous to convict defendants on serious felonies.
  • Hawaii and Washington D.C. legalized doctor assisted suicide.
  • In Washington, health insurance must cover contraception and abortions if it covers maternity care.
  • Kansas has banned tele-medicine abortion - where patients teleconference with a doctor in order to get abortion pills.
  • Arizona is increasing reporting requirements about abortions. 
  • Tennessee now requires a patient to be given an opportunity to see an ultrasound if one is performed before an abortion. 
  • Tennessee is also banning "sanctuary cities." Colorado is making it easier for illegal aliens to get drivers licenses.
  • Illinois is extending its current 72-hour waiting period on handguns to all firearms. Also, hunters can wear bright pink vests - not just the orange ones. Illinois is also joining New Jersey in implementing Gun Violence Protection Orders. 
  • California is banning long gun purchases to anyone under 21. It already bans the sale of handguns to anyone under 21.
  • Also, every dog, cat, and rabbit sold in a California pet shop will need to come from a shelter or rescue group.
  • If you are a "remote worker," you can relocate to Vermont and get up to $10,000 from the state government.
  • Massachusetts raised the legal smoking age to 21.
  • In New Jersey, you'll need a license and up to 50 hours of training to braid hair.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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