40,000 new Federal and State laws were enacted January 1, 2012. Under the new Federal and State laws, big brother has decided to waste tax payer money, expand the government, and squeezing our freedom. Some of the laws do make sense, but it doesn't overshadow the fact that the government is infringing out freedom. It is important to note that any law enacted by our legislator will cost the tax payer money. I recommend that you read this article. It is important to know what our selected representatives are doing with our money.
(MSNBC) About 40,000 state laws taking effect at the start of the new year will change rules about getting abortions in New Hampshire, learning about gays and lesbians in California, getting jobs in Alabama and even driving golf carts in Georgia.
Several federal rules change with the new year, too, including a Social Security increase amounting to $450 a year for the average recipients and stiff fines up to $2,700 per offense for truckers and bus drivers caught using hand-held cellphones while driving.
NBC News, the National Conference of State Legislatures, The Associated Press, and other organizations tracked the changes and offered their views on the highlights.
Many laws reflect the nation's concerns over immigration, the cost of government and the best way to protect and benefit young people, including regulations on sports concussions.
Eight states will raise the minimum wage, NBC News reported. They include Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, Vermont and Florida, NBC News said. San Francisco will become the first city to raise its minimum wage above $10 per hour. The new $10.24 minimum is nearly $3 above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, set in 2009.
Jan. 1 is the effective date in many states for laws passed during this year's legislative sessions. In others, laws take effect July 1, or 90 days after passage.
Alabama, with the country's toughest immigration law, will require all employers who do business with any government entity to use a federal system known as E-Verify to check that all new employees are in the country legally.
Georgia is putting a similar law into effect requiring any business with 500 or more employees to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of new hires. The requirement is being phased in, with all employers with more than 10 employees to be included by July 2013.
In Colorado, coaches will be required to bench players as young as 11 when they're believed to have suffered a head injury. The young athletes will also need medical clearance to return to play.
The law also requires coaches in public and private schools and even volunteer Little League and Pop Warner football coaches to take free annual online training to recognize the symptoms of a concussion. At least a dozen other states have enacted similar laws with the support of the National Football League.
Florida will take control of lunch and other school food programs from the federal government, allowing the state to put more Florida-grown fresh fruit and vegetables on school menus. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the change will help children eat healthier.
A California law will add gays and lesbians and people with disabilities to the list of social and ethnic groups whose contributions must be taught in history lessons in public schools. The law also bans teaching materials that reflect poorly on gays or particular religions.
New laws requiring voters to present photo identification will go into effect in Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. A law in New Hampshire will require election day registrants who do not present a photo ID to return a mailed identify verification. An additional Tennessee law will require election officials to identify possible non-citizens who are registered to vote and require them to present proof of citizenship in order to remain registered voters.
Among federal laws, a measure Congress passed last week to extend Social Security tax cuts and federal unemployment benefit programs raises insurance fees on new mortgages and refinancings backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration by 0.1 percent beginning Jan. 1.
That covers about 90 percent of them and effectively makes a borrower's monthly payment on a new $200,000 mortgage or refinancing about $17 a month more than it would have been if obtained before the first of the year.