2017 brings new laws, big changes

New state laws passed for 2017 include taxes to minimum wage to gun control, a broad range of changes is coming at the state level as Americans ring in 2017. And, as has been the trend lately, the new year will bring far broader legalization of marijuana.

Thats what The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, in a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence arguing against pot prohibitions, called an “unprecedented schism between state and federal law in regards to … cannabis statutes.” While that debate will play out anew as the Trump administration takes office with a law-and-order mandate, the “schism” grows wider in 2017.

Already, revelers in Massachusetts and California will have the legal option of pairing their New Year’s Eve champagne with a joint. Approved by voters in November, legal recreational pot use took effect on Dec. 15 in Massachusetts; legal personal use of the drug took effect in California shortly after voters approved it there, though retail sales are still months away from implementation.

Nevada legalized recreational pot on Jan. 1, and Maine will follow soon after.

Voters in Maine, Arizona and Washington also voted in favor of minimum wage hikes. An appeals court in Arizona recently rejected an effort by state businesses to delay the Jan. 1 implementation.

As wage hikes enter the pipeline, so have tax hikes:

In Portland, Ore., the city council passed a so-called CEO tax, a first-in-the-nation ordinance to put a tax surcharge on publicly traded companies whose CEOs earn 100 times more than the median wage of other company employees. According to the National Law Review, a surcharge of 10 percent of the base tax liability would be imposed on those companies beginning on Jan. 1.

Buying presents next Christmas or anything from Amazon also will be more expensive for Utah residents in 2017 thanks to a new law requiring online retailers to charge consumers a 4.7 state sales tax at the point of sale, rather than relying on the honor system.

On the tax relief side of the ledger, Illinois approved a measure tossing out a 6.25 percent “luxury” tax on tampons.

Illinois passed dozens of other laws, including changes so that starting Jan. 1 it will no longer be illegal to catch catfish using a pitchfork, speargun or bow and arrow. Critically, the term “public hunting ground for pheasants” will be replaced by “public hunting ground for game birds.”

Fox News

On the West Coast, gun owners in California will face new restrictions after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law banning the purchase of semiautomatic rifles with so-called “evil features.”

The “evil features” include pistol grips, flash hiders and bullet-buttons that make it easier to remove and replace ammunition magazines. The Los Angeles Times reported an increase in gun purchases in the lead-up to the Jan. 1 implementation.

The gun measure is one of the few new California laws that do not have roots on the desk of state Sen. Jerry Hill, the sponsor of 17 bills taking effect in the new year. The laws run the gamut from how police store their weapons in their vehicles to tour bus safety to restrictions on water use.

While Congress itself largely was inactive over the past year, a new regulation stemming from the Affordable Care Act, and set to take effect Jan. 1, could have far-reaching implications across the country.

Under the change, states will have the option to seek so-called Section 1332 waivers to try to modify parts of ObamaCare for their residents. A number of states have sought to get that process started – though the incoming Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress want to repeal and replace the law as a whole next year.

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3 Comments

  1. janice

    The Pot For The Pothead’s Is Causing More Of A Stir For-Problem’s For The Medical Profession Than American’s Know About! Meaning: As Of Today Jan. 2, 2017, More Are Being Hospitalized For The Underlying Problem’s Due To The Use Of Marijuana! And Who Pay’s For That Folk’s? Oh, I See A Possibility Here, Good Ole American Taxpayer’s! Another Fine Mess Of 2017, In The Making Of, Or Is It Just The Beginning?

  2. janice

    The Pot For The Pothead’s Is Causing More Of A Stir For-Problem’s For The Medical Profession Than American’s Know About! Meaning: As Of Today Jan. 2, 2017, More Are Being Hospitalized For The Underlying Problem’s Due To The Use Of Marijuana! And Who Pay’s For That Folk’s? Oh, I See A Possibility Here, Good Ole American Taxpayer’s! Another Fine Mess Of 2017, In The Making Of, Or Is It Just The Beginning? As For Law’s….Hmm, Hmm, Hmm! Well……..They Can All Be Repealed, Folk’s! Another Invisible Day In The USA!

  3. janice

    Well For The Pothead’s, Pot Was Legalized And The Drawback On This Is For The Medical Profession! Meaning: Folk’s There’s Whole Lot More Hospitalization’s For Marijuana Than Ever Before! More Problem’s For The Medical Profession To Deal With, To Do With The Type That Is Used By The User Of! That’s Why There Are Rule’s And Regulation’s To Regulate Law’s-Usage-Effect’s Of Use! CEO Tax? They Are Already Taxed To The Max! That’s Outrageous! Public Hunting Ground For Pheasant’s? Changed To Public Hunting Ground For Game Bird’s? Pheasant’s Don’t Care, So Why Should They? Talk About Giving The Hunter The Bird! Can’t Use A Speargun,Pitchfork, Bow, Or Arrow For Catfish? The Fish Don’t Care, They’re Mean! Try Watching Someone Hand-fish Them, They The Catfish Hang’s On To The Hand Hard, Never Letting Go! Gun’s, Gun’s, And More Gun’s- CA. Is In Denial Mode For Any Weapon’s-Firearm’s Ownership For Sure Of Any Legal Citizen To Own! Water Use Restriction’s- Well Restriction’s Are Restriction’s! Like Flushing The Toilet-It All Goes Down The Drain! States Trying To Seek So-called Waiver’s For Section 1332? It’s Only A Number Folk’s-That Can Be Repealed!

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