New abortion, police, and tax laws come into effect in the United States

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In Kansas, people are allowed to buy special license plates with the “Tread on Me” and the snake symbol on the so-called Gadsen flag. Critics suggested that the Gadsen flag has become a racist symbol that has been adopted by some far-right groups.

Here’s a rundown of some of the new laws going into effect across the country on Saturday:

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CANCELLATION

In New Hampshire, abortion is banned after 24 weeks of gestation, with exceptions for the life or physical health of the mother.

The Democrats have already drafted laws to lift the new restrictions. Some also want to make the right to make reproductive health decisions a constitutional right.

New Hampshire law comes as the US Supreme Court examines a case that could seriously undermine abortion rights that have existed for half a century. Republican lawmakers across the country stand ready to further restrict or ban abortion, while those led by the Democratic Party seek to ensure access to abortion in their state law.

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ANIMAL WELFARE

Next Saturday, California will have the nation’s strictest breeding pig habitat standards.

Industrial lawsuits failed to block the move, which is the result of a failed 2018 referendum initiative, but grocers and restaurateurs are now suing a 28-month delay. Critics, including some bipartite lawmakers, have called for enforcement to be postponed until 2024 fearing prices will rise and jobs will be lost.

California allows the continued sale of pork processed according to the old rules, which proponents say should ease any shortages and price hikes.

Maryland is set to join a number of states with a new law banning the sale of new cosmetic products that contain ingredients tested on animals.

In Vermont, a new law bans the trade in parts or products of a number of exotic animals, including elephants, giraffes, sea turtles, critically endangered sharks, whales and certain primates.

The law contains exceptions for law enforcement, educational, or scientific purposes. The law also allows the trade in antiques that contain small quantities of the animal product or are an integral part of a firearm; Knife; or a legally acquired, small musical instrument.

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CHANGES TO DRUG LAW

Recreational marijuana is becoming legal in Montana. State voters approved the change in a November 2020 initiative.

Under the new law, only companies that offered medical marijuana before November 3, 2020 will be allowed to grow, manufacture, and sell marijuana, concentrates, and adult edibles until June 30, 2023.

A new Mississippi bill removes prescription requirements for the purchase of decongestants that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Under the new law, the drug will be available over the counter from pharmacies and pharmacists will have to keep track of how much is sold to a person.

Like many other states, Mississippi made a prescription mandatory years ago because drug control drugs said drugs containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine were used as a component of crystal methamphetamine. Some consumers complained that non-prescription decongestants were not strong enough.

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MINIMUM WAGE

California will be the first state to require a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour for businesses with 25+ employees. A number of other locations across the country have already hit the $ 15 mark.

More than 20 other states are also raising their minimum wages to below $ 15. A handful of states don’t have federal minimum wage laws, which means they rely on the state minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour.

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PHYSICAL DISCRIMINATION

New laws are coming into effect in both Illinois and Oregon prohibiting discrimination based on physical characteristics such as hairstyle.

In Oregon, the bill unofficially known as the Crown Act will ban discrimination based on “physical traits historically associated with race,” including hairstyles such as braids, locs and twists.

In Illinois, the legislation is known as the Jett Hawkins Law, after Gus “Jett” Hawkins, a black student who was told at the age of 4 to remove his braids because the hairstyle violated his Chicago school dress code.

His mother, Ida Nelson, launched an awareness campaign following the incident saying that stigmatizing children’s hair can negatively impact their school development. She called it “monumental” when the law was signed by Democratic Governor JB Pritzker last summer.

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POLICE REFORM

Inspired by the race census following the killing of George Floyd and other blacks killed by police, a number of states passed new criminal justice laws in 2021 – the first full year of state legislative sessions after Floyd’s death.

An Illinois law standardizes the certification of police officers by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and allows officers to be decertified for repeated misconduct or unethical behavior rather than just when convicted of a crime.

In North Carolina, law enforcement recruits must now be psychologically assessed by a licensed psychologist to determine their suitability for the job before they can begin employment as civil servants or vicarious agents. A previous mandate did not apply to everyone.

In Oregon, a new law requires a police officer who witnesses misconduct or violation of the state’s minimum moral standards to report it to a supervisor within 72 hours. A police agency must complete an investigation within three months and report any misconduct that goes beyond minor violations to the state.

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STEER

In Georgia, a new law increases the amount people can earn before paying state taxes. The tax cut saves individual taxpayers up to $ 43 per year and married couples up to $ 63 annually filing together.

Georgia teachers who volunteer to work in certain rural or underperforming schools could receive up to $ 3,000 per year from their state income taxes for five years.

In Oklahoma, the highest income tax rate drops from 5% to 4.75%. The legislature also lowered the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 4%.

“I made a promise to make Oklahoma a top 10 state for business, and making our corporate taxes the lowest in the nation is another tool that will help us continue to recruit and retain businesses,” said Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt after signing the bills.

In New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Democratic-led state legislature added a new 2.75% surcharge on health insurance premiums.

Much of the tax hike will be used to cover health insurance offers for low- and middle-income individuals and small business workers from 2023 onwards.

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Associate press writers across the country contributed to this report.


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