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Immigration, taxes, weapons: important laws coming into force in the United States in 2020

The new year will bring new payments for some electric vehicle owners as more and more states are eager to connect to additional revenue streams to offset gas taxes. In Hawaii, the fee will be $ 50, in Kansas - $ 100, in Alabama and Ohio $ 200. What other laws will come into force in 2020 in the United States? Tells CNBC.

Фото: Depositphotos

New or higher registration fees take effect on Wednesday, January 1, and will affect owners of electric vehicles in at least 8 states. For the first time in most states of the United States, special fees will be levied for gasoline-free cars, SUVs and trucks - this is a significant stage, since the trend towards the use of green technologies intersects with the growing need to pay for the modernization and repair of infrastructure at the country level.

Despite the fact that in 2018 sales of electric vehicles and hybrid cars with plug-in modules accounted for less than 2% of all sales of new cars, their market share is predicted to increase significantly in the coming decade. Government officials hope that the new fees will make up at least part of the lost tax revenue from gasoline, which is necessary for their road and bridge programs.

“I think that the states are still trying to determine what the fair or equitable fee will be for the owners of these electric vehicles,” said Christie Hartman, director of energy for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The introduction of fees for electric cars is one of several social trends reflected in laws that will enter into force in 2020.

21 states will raise their minimum wage to $ 12 an hour or more. Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. California will join some 10 states that have extended deadlines for suing or prosecuting past for sexual assault.

So far, the federal government and some states have offered people incentives to buy electric cars. But federal tax credits are gradually being cut for some of the most popular models created by Tesla and General Motors, and some states are also changing course.

Illinois, for example, offered two-year license plates for electric cars for $ 35 — a significant discount compared to its main annual registration fee of $ 98. Under the law, according to which both registration fees and fuel taxes are levied, electric vehicle owners will have to pay a new base annual rate of $ 148 plus an additional $ 100 to compensate for lost fuel taxes.

“It's a kind of general punishment for anyone who decides to switch to electricity,” said Neda Daley, owner of Tesla, who founded a group of electric car supporters in Chicago.

Three-quarters of the proceeds from the new $ 200 electric car fee and $ 100 hybrid model fee in Alabama will go to regular and local roads and bridges. Another quarter will fund grants for the infrastructure of electric chargers and expire when electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles exceed 4% of all vehicles in the state.

The fee is designed to provide "more than just justice for maintenance and infrastructure construction," said Alabama Republican Bill Pool, who sponsored the bill. “I think this is an important step in terms of planning for the future,” he added.

Since the average distances traveled by electric vehicle owners vary, it’s difficult to set a universally fair charge for electric cars, says Lauren MacDonald, a California-based analyst with EV Adoption.

“The states are actually very intelligent in this matter,” said MacDonald, noting that some states charge less than vehicle owners could pay for fuel taxes.

A new or higher fee for an electric car that will enter into force in 2020 will also affect Iowa, Oregon, and Utah. California, which accounts for nearly half of all U.S. electric vehicle sales, is expected to raise $ 100 from new zero-emissions cars starting July 1.

Here are some well-known laws that come into effect on January 1:

Police use of force

The country's oldest law governing when the police can use deadly force has been updated in California. The American Civil Liberties Union named the result of the changes one of the strongest in the United States. California’s previous law permitted the use of lethal force when officers had “reasonable fear” for their safety. The new law will protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury to officers or witnesses only if necessary, but it does not include a definition of this “necessity”.

Another new California law strengthens the training of confrontation officers. The change came after Sacramento police shot dead Stephen Clark, a 2018-year-old black man suspected of vandalism, in 22, which led to major protests.

On the subject: What laws will take effect in California in 2020 year


California's new law promises stricter control over doctors who prescribe school-specific vaccinations. The law sparked heated legislative debate and attracted hundreds of supporters and opponents to the Capitol last year. This will allow the state to keep under control doctors who provide more than 5 medical allotments per year, and schools with a vaccination level below 95%, which, according to experts, means that the population is resistant to diseases such as measles. The law will gradually abolish existing medical exemptions in the coming years.


Colorado's Red Flag Act allows families, cohabitants, or law enforcement agencies to petition the court to seize weapons from people whom they consider to be a threat to themselves or others. Withdrawals can be extended up to 364 days, and the burden of proof for the return of the weapon rests with its owner.

The law was supported by Democrat Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex Sullivan was killed while shooting at the Aurora Cinema in 2012. Some Republican lawmakers and a group of gun owners in the Rockies filed a lawsuit for trying to block the law, and about 12 of the 64 state districts made decisions declaring themselves to be "refugees" of the 2nd Amendment in response to this. Some sheriffs said they would not obey court orders.

Tennessee law, by contrast, can make it easier for people to obtain concealed weapons. The law provides for a less expensive option to obtain a permit that does not require training in firearms and instead allows people to take online courses in training in shooting or safety.


Arkansas will be the last state to debate on national immigration, as the new law cuts off discretionary funding for asylum cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Other Republican-led states have passed similar laws. In contrast, some Democratic-led states have adopted asylum laws prohibiting local law enforcement officials from asking about their immigration status or notifying federal authorities when an immigrant is about to be released.


North Carolina law will change the process for requesting and filling out ballots by mail in response to a fraud investigation during an election race in the U.S. District in 2018, leading to a re-election in 2019. Most of the new law focuses on a practice called “ballot collection,” where fraudsters collect hundreds of absentee ballots from voters and falsify signatures or fill out votes. The new law will keep confidential information about people who request absentee ballots until the actual election day.


At least 7 states will begin to require electronic prescriptions for controlled substances such as opioids. The movement to get rid of handwritten medical prescriptions is one of many steps that states are taking to try to curb opioid dependence and overdose.

New laws coming into force in Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee, mean that now such rules will apply in 12 states. Virginia is due to implement the law in July, and another 13 states have passed electronic prescription laws, which are due to take effect in 2021.

On the subject: Diaper Changes and the Prohibition of Cloning: Unusual State Laws Going into Force in 2020


The California measure, described as the largest data privacy law, will require many companies to inform consumers, upon request, which personal data they collect about them, why, and which other organizations receive it. Consumers may ask companies to delete their personal information rather than selling it. The law also prohibits companies from selling data regarding children under 16 without consent. An economic analysis prepared for the Attorney General's Office estimated the total cost of initial compliance with the law at $ 55 billion.

Another new California law prohibits police from using on-camera face recognition software following the same laws in New Hampshire and Oregon.

Illinois Law seeks to shed light on the use of artificial intelligence during the hiring process. Employers who ask applicants to record a video interview on their own and submit them for consideration will need to notify applicants and obtain their consent if they intend to use artificial intelligence to analyze facial expressions or suitability for the position.


20 years after the approval of voters, Massachusetts will accept the final reduction in state income tax. In 2000, it was a question of reducing the state tax rate from 5,95% to 5% by 2003. But lawmakers froze the rate at 5,3% in 2002 and passed a law allowing gradual resumption of decline if the state reaches certain revenue benchmarks. Subject to these conditions, the tax rate will finally fall to 5% in 2020.

In Missouri, the Corporate Income Tax Act, signed in the final hours before former governor Eric Greitens resigned in May 2018, will enter into force in 2020. The law will lower the Missouri corporate income tax rate from 6,25% to 4%, making it one of the lowest rates in the country. But another provision in the law will end the possibility of calculating corporate income, which may lead to an increase in tax revenue in Missouri for some companies that work with several states.

Paid holiday

Employees in the state of Washington will be able to apply for leave under the new state law on paid leave for family reasons. Businesses and workers pay for the program approved by the Legislative Assembly in 2017 over the past year with wage increases. Beginning in 2020, eligible workers will be able to take 12 weeks of paid leave to give birth or adopt a child or for the grave medical condition of an employee or family member, or 16 weeks for a combination of both. Washington became the 5th state to enact family payable leave law, followed by the District of Columbia in July. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and Oregon have passed laws that go into effect from 2021 to 2023.

In the U.S. US laws new laws 2020 year

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