As many as 22 states and the District of Columbia could see increases to their minimum wages in 2019, according to the National Employment Law Project.
New year, new state laws.
A slew of new state laws take effect with the turn of the calendar — ranging from minimum wage changes to pink hunting gear to a mandatory cursive writing curriculum. One state will even begin paying people to relocate for remote work.
A few of the more notable changes:
Minimum wages will increase
At the start of the new year, 19 states and 21 cities will increase their minimum wage, according to the National Employment Law Project. About 17 million people from New York to California will have received pay bumps, the project estimates, once additional minimum wage increases are phased in throughout the year.
Illinois hunters can wear bright pink
Hunting enthusiasts in Illinois have a new wardrobe choice. In addition to bright orange, hunters can wear bright pink in 2019 to meet safety requirements during gun deer seasons.
The bill passed unanimously in both state legislatures. It is believed that the new color option will help hunters see each other and prevent accidents while hunting upland game with a firearm. Previously, hunters were limited to orange hats and upper outer garment displaying a minimum of 400 square inches of orange.
Vermont will pay remote workers to move there
Remote workers who relocate to Vermont can apply for up to $10,000 from the state government, starting Tuesday.
To promote economic growth, Vermont will cover expenses related to moving and working from home or a co-working space, including computer software and hardware. The state will give up to $125,000 to qualified applicants in 2019 on a first-come, first-served basis.
California requires pet stores only sell rescues
Only dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue groups can be sold at pet stores in California, beginning Tuesday. If pet store owners don’t follow the law, including posting where the pet came from on its cage, they will pay up to a $500 fine.
Hawaii legalizes medically assisted suicide
Following six other states and Washington, D.C., Hawaii will allow doctors to provide fatal prescription medicine to terminally-ill patients who make several requests.
Two health care providers must confirm a patient’s diagnosis and decision-making ability. A counselor must also verify depression or other conditions prevent the patient from making an informed decision.
Ohio requires kids learn cursive
Ohio has decided that cursive isn’t obsolete. A law will require students to write legibly in cursive by the end of fifth grade. The handwriting instructional materials must be part of school curriculum by July 1.
Tennessee bans ‘sanctuary’ policies
With a law prohibiting local jurisdictions and law enforcement from adopting “sanctuary” immigration policies, officials may be forced to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
No cities in the state formally hold a “sanctuary city” status, reported the Commercial Appeal, a member of the USA TODAY Network. One county sheriff’s office, however, may have to reverse its policy on refusing to detain people suspected of living in the country without documentation.
Massachusetts raises legal smoking age
Joining six other states, Massachusetts will only allow those 21 and older to purchase tobacco products. Young adults who turned 18 — the previous age requirement — before the new year can still buy cigarettes, however.
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