Ringing in the New Year with New Laws in 2015

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What would New Year’s Day be without hundreds of new laws taking effect that waste money, reward lawlessness, increase costs on businesses, curb your personal freedoms and infringe on your personal liberty?

Here is a sampling:

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 930 new laws will take effect in 2015 in California, many starting on January 1 that include:

  • A new provision allowing drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants.
  • Paid sick leave for retail, fast food and other service-industry employees.

According to the Daily Herald, over 200 new laws will take effect in 2015 in Illinois that include:

  • “Ban the Box” prohibiting questions about criminal history on an initial job application.
  • Adding the gray wolf, American black bear and cougar to the list of protected species in Illinois.

From the Albany Business Journal, new laws in New York include:

  • A prohibition on “e-waste” disposal in normal trash or recycling.
  • Tax credits for hiring veterans or persons with developmental disabilities.

Gas Tax Changes in 10 States

According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, five states will see gas tax rates increase:

  • Pennsylvania (9. 8)
  • Virginia (5. 1)
  • Maryland (2. 9)
  • North Carolina (1. 0)
  • Florida (0. 3)

Minimum Wage Increases in 20 States:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states will increase their minimum wages raising to 29 the number of states and the District of Columbia that will have a minimum wage above the federal minimum wage pf $7.25 with new states including:

  • Delaware
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • South Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Alaska
  • Michigan
  • South Dakota
  • District of Columbia

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation – Employer Mandate

After a one-year delay in implementation, on January 1, the ACA “Pay-or-play” requirements go into effect for employers with 100 or more full time employees (average 30 hours per week). Employers who do not offer health insurance that meets the minimum requirements may be subject to an assessment.

Experts predict that employers will either drop health insurance as an employee benefit opting to pay the penalty instead, cut back employees to less than 30 hours a week or shed jobs to pay premiums for remaining employees.