WASHINGTON — Hundreds of new laws went into effect on July 1 for many state and local governments around the United States.
Some of the new rules are listed below:
Seattle bans plastic straws and utensils
Plastic straws and utensils are now banned in Seattle for all food service businesses. Violators are subject to a $250 fine. Businesses can opt for straws and utensils made from more environmentally friendly materials such as paper, steel and bamboo.
Parts of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act
Many parts of the law already went into effect when Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill in March. But some components have later deadlines. The governor called for every superintendent to designate a school safety specialist and that the school board determine how many of its personnel will need training for the controversial guardian program, which arms some teachers by July 1. The voluntary guardian program needs the agreement of both the local school district and local sheriff’s department.
New rules for California marijuana products
New regulations for safety and testing went into effect, requiring that marijuana products sold in California must now pass additional tests for certain chemicals, pesticides and foreign materials. This prompted many California dispensaries to slash prices this weekend to sell off products that won’t be permitted after July 1. Recreational marijuana became legal in California at the beginning of the year.
$15 minimum wage in SF
San Francisco’s minimum wage hit $15 an hour on Sunday, becoming the first major city in the U.S. to reach that mark. This is an increase from $14. City voters passed the initiative to raise the minimum wage in 2014. Every July from now on, the wage rate will be adjusted based on annual increases in the Consumer Price Index.
Must be 18 years or older to marry in Florida
Floridians may not get marriage licenses if they’re under the age of 18, except under certain circumstances. The new law is intended to protect minors who may be pressured into early marriages.
Some adoption records open in Indiana
Indiana residents who were adopted before January 1, 1983, can now request access to their adoption records under a new law. This access is only permitted to eligible individuals such as an adult adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent and birth sibling. A biological parent can file to block access.
Tighter alcohol rules for California’s ride-share drivers
Drivers for services like Uber or Lyft will face lower blood alcohol limits under a new California law. This lowers the limit for DUIs for such drivers from blood alcohol concentration 0.08 down to 0.04.
More recess time in Virginia
Elementary school kids could get more recess in the new school year. A new law permits unstructured recreational time “in any calculation of total instructional time or teaching hours, provided that such unstructured recreational time does not exceed 15 percent of total instructional time or teaching hours.”
Sunscreens allowed in school without doctor’s note
Indiana students can bring and apply sunscreen lotion at school without a doctor’s note or prescription. And they’ll no longer have to have it stored in a specific place at school. The same goes for Maryland students as schools are now trying to educate students about sun safety.AlertMe