Be it because you didn’t read the news that week, or because these laws weren’t as advertised as they should have been, you will be surprised by the laws you missed that are now in effect this 2023. From increases in minimum wage to the state of insulin prices; these new laws affect the entire population of the United States.
You’ll be glad to know that nearly half of all US states have increased their minimum wages, effective since January 1. The following states being Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. With Washington being the state with the highest minimum wage at $15.74 ($16.50 in Washington D.C.), followed by California, which now has a minimum wage of $15.50.
California and Washington have joined Oregon and New York this year as states that require pay transparency. This means that businesses and organizations with more than 15 employees must include a pay scale for any job postings.
Minimum-wage workers in Connecticut will also receive an increase on minimum wage on June 1, while the change goes into effect in Nevada on July 1 and Florida on September 30. Washington D.C. will receive another increase to $17 on July 1 as well.
Recreational marijuana has also been legalized in Missouri for personal use for those 21 and older, and Maryland will see this legalization as well on July 1. But while we get to July 1, the amount of cannabis a person can possess in Maryland for a fine instead of a criminal penalty increased on January 1; from just over a third of an ounce, or 10 grams, to 2.5 ounces.
This law will allow those previously convicted of marijuana possession and “intent to distribute” to apply to get their record expunged. Connecticut residents convicted of cannabis possession already saw their convictions fully or partially erased on Jan. 1
Jaywalkers also get a break in California now, since officers are currently prohibited from stopping a pedestrian “unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of collision.” The Democratic state lawmaker and creator of the bill said it was because “we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk for health and environmental reasons.”
As of January 1, another law was set into effect, Louisiana pornography watchers of 18+ now must get their ID ready if accessing a website with at least 33.3% of pornographic content.
Last but not least, insulin prices for Medicare beneficiaries were decreased as of January 1. About 3.3 million of these beneficiaries spent an average of $54 per insulin prescription. The new insulin price is now $35.
These are only some of the laws that went into effect this year.