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Scores of New Laws Take Effect Across the United States

HeadlineJan 02, 2020

Scores of new laws are taking effect across the country with the start of 2020, affecting wages, privacy rights, gun laws, marijuana use, criminal justice and more. The minimum wage has gone up in 21 different states and in about two dozen cities and counties across California.

The California Consumer Privacy Act now allows California residents to learn what data companies have collected about them — and to demand those companies delete the data, if residents want.

California has also suspended the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes for three years, allowing survivors the chance to pursue prosecution.

Colorado has tightened its gun laws, although a number of Colorado counties oppose the new measure and have declared themselves to be Second Amendment “sanctuaries.” Tennessee has loosened its gun laws by making it easier for residents to receive a concealed-carry handgun permit.

In Illinois, marijuana is now legal.

In New York, cash bail has been eliminated for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony cases, in a move criminal justice reform advocates say could lead to the release of thousands of people incarcerated before their trial.

Oregon now bans single-use plastic bags at grocery stores.

And California has become the first state in the country to explicitly ban discrimination against people based on their natural hair. The CROWN Act now makes it illegal for employers or school officials to impose dress codes or policies that ban afros, braids, locks or other hairstyles. California state Senator Holly Mitchell celebrated the move, saying, “This law protects the right of black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms.”

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