Local Headlines

Several new state laws take effect with the start of a new year.  Among them is a hike in the minimum wage.  It's increasing from $9.15 an hour to $9.60 an hour.  Some tax changes also take effect.  They include an increase in the cigarette tax and luxury goods tax, a cap in the mill rate for motor vehicle taxes and military retirement pay becoming fully exempt from the state income tax. 


The Marginal income tax rate increase for certain higher income filers, and there will be a $20 million cap on the maximum amount of estate tax imposed on the estates of residents and nonresidents who die on or after January 1st. 


When it comes to election law changes: any petitioning, write-in and minor party candidates for municipal or district office must live within the district in which they seek to run. This already applies to major party candidates. 


Some health insurance laws are changing.  Carriers must disclose specified information including cost exclusions and restrictions on covered benefits such as prescription drugs. Certain policies must cover telehealth services to the same extent as in-person visits.  Certain policies must cover mental and nervous conditions. 


Several of the new laws concern changes for police under an Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force.  More minority police officers have to be hired and promoted to better reflect the makeup of the community they serve.  Grants for body cameras also become available.

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Brian Kilmeade
Local Headlines