As the United States moves into the new year, many new laws have taken effect. Here’s a rundown of the many of the new laws and how they may affect you.

One of the more well-known changes is the minimum wage increase that will occur in at least 19 of the states. This change will happen on or shortly after New Year’s Day, bringing up the minimum wage from $7.25, which it has stagnated at since 2009.

According to Nation Employment Law Project executive director Christine Owens, “Working people are struggling to pay their bills, but they see that it’s the corporations and the wealthy CEOs who are getting the tax breaks. It’s just not right. The American people believe in the value of work — and that workers deserve to be valued. That’s why there’s such strong support for raising the minimum wage.”

California will also see two new laws take effect, the first of which while provide shelter animals with assistance. Going forward, pet stores situated in the Golden State will only be allowed to sell dogs, cats and rabbits if they were obtained from an animal shelter or a nonprofit rescue group.

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Moreover, publicly held Californian corporations must include at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of the year. And, depending on their board size, two or three woman must be included by the end of 2021. Any corporations that fail to comply may be fined from $100,000 to $300,000. This bill references a study by the MSCI from 2017 that reported how companies that had three or more women directors from 2011 to 2016 had 45% higher earnings than those that had none.

Heretofore, hunters who live in Illinois were mandated to wear bright orange clothing when partaking in their hobby, but now pink clothing is also acceptable, allowing them more fashion options. Additionally, nursing moms residing in Illinois will be exempt from jury duty, and government employees living there who are fired for misconduct will be barred from receiving service pay.

Meanwhile, the minimum age required to purchase cigarettes in Massachusetts has risen to 21, and drug manufactures in New York will need to work to destroy and transport their unused drugs in an effort to fight the opioid epidemic. New York’s “Drug Take Back Act” will go into effect on January 6, also requiring all chain and mail-order pharmacies in the Empire State to provide collection options for their customers.

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