New Laws

Across the country, states are starting to feel the effects of the new 2019 laws.

Bianca Geib, Forum Editor, Co-Online Editor

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, multiple new laws were enacted across the country. These are some of them:

In Washington State:

There will be more regulation when it comes to service animals starting this year. There are changes to the definition of service animals, making it now a dog or miniature horse individually trained to owners’ disability (physical, mental). A civil penalty of $500 will be imposed on those who misrepresent their pets as service animals (K5 News).

The statewide minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour. Seattle’s minimum wage increases to $16 an hour for companies that employ greater than 500 employees, and stays at $15 an hour for companies with less than 500 employees (K5 News).

Health insurance will be required to cover contraceptives, as well as any medical services relating to prescribing, dispensing, delivering, distributing, administering and removing them. If the insurance policy covers maternity care, then it will also be required to cover abortions (K5 News).


Across the country:

California won’t be allowing pet stores to sell cats, dogs, or rabbits if they didn’t come from an animal shelter or nonprofit rescue group. They are the first state in the country to make this a law (CNN).

In Massachusetts, the age allowed to buy tobacco products is raised to 21. They now also prohibit the use of tobacco products on the grounds of any primary, secondary, or vocational school (CNN).

Connecticut and Hawaii joined eight other states in making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants about their pay history. Employers are also prohibited from searching publicly available records to obtain that history. This law hopes to make it harder for pay discrimination to happen against women and minorities (NBC).

New York City made it illegal to sell anything in foam food containers that are made from expanded polystyrene because it cannot be recycled (NBC).