A New Year typically brings with it new laws throughout the nation, and that will be true in 2020.
New and/or higher registration fees for electric vehicle owners have become law in at least eight states. Other states with new or higher electric vehicle fees taking effect in 2020 include Iowa, Oregon and Utah. California, which accounts for nearly half of all electric vehicle sales in the US, is to collect a $100 fee on new “zero-emission” vehicles starting July 1.
For the first time, a majority of US states will impose special fees on gas-free cars, SUVs and trucks as more consumers move toward green technology and the pressure mounts to upgrade and repair infrastructure nationwide.
While electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles represented less than 2% of new vehicle sales in 2018, their market share is projected to rise substantially in the coming decade. State officials believe the new or increased fees can make up for lost gas tax revenue that helps fund their road and bridge programs.
In Colorado, the new “red flag” law allows a family, household members or law enforcement to petition a court to have guns seized from people deemed a threat to themselves or others. The seizure can be for up to 364 days, and the burden of proof is on the gun owner to get firearms back.
Arkansas joins several other states that will cut off discretionary state funding for “sanctuary” cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Other Republican-led states have enacted similar statutes, while several Democratic-led states have adopted sanctuary laws limiting what local law enforcement officers can ask regarding a person’s immigration status or notifying federal authorities when an immigrant is about to be released from state custody.
There are seven new states — Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee— that now mandate electronic prescriptions for controlled substances such as opioids.
The movement to eliminate handwritten prescriptions by doctors is one of the attempts to try to reduce opioid addictions and overdoses. There are now a dozen states that have such laws. Virginia will implement its law in July; and 13 additional states have passed electronic prescription laws that go into effect in 2021.
In California alone, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed almost 1,200 new laws this year, though not all of them take effect Jan. 1.
Some of them include:
— Employers, co-workers and teachers can ask for a gun-violence restraining order against a person beginning in September — no longer leaving the gun seizures only to families and law enforcement. And a person banned from having a gun in another state can no longer legally possess one in California.
— State health officials must develop a new, standardized form doctors will fill out for parents who want a medical exemption from vaccinations for their children. Doctors will be required to use that form and parents must submit existing exemptions to the state in 2021. Doctors with five or more exemptions written after Jan. 1, 2020 will have their actions reviewed by the state.
— Children whose parents have unpaid school lunch bills cannot denied access to at least an alternate meal selection, nor can they be shamed or treated differently than other students.
—- Interest rates on payday or installment loans of $2,500 to $9,999 will be capped at no more than 36%.
— And the state’s civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse allegations has been extended for 14 additional years, allowing some to file claims up to age 40.