Across the country, there are many new laws taking effect in 2014. Some provide protection to children, while others are related to wildlife conservation.
In Texas, minors are no longer permitted to enter tanning beds. The minimum age has gone up from 16 and a half years old to 18, which is no surprise given the regularly published findings demonstrating the serious health risks associated with tanning.
In the state of Delaware, the sale, possession, or distribution of shark fins has been declared illegal. The fins are cut off wild sharks, leaving the animals helplessly dying. They’re most commonly used in the preparation of shark fin soup, which has been declared illegal in locations around the world.
A new law dictates that those who order cocktails in Texas will start paying sales tax, just like their beer- and wine-drinking friends. Unbeknownst to many people, taxes were not charged on mixed drinks in the past. A sales tax of 8.25% will now be applied to all mixed drinks ordered in restaurants and bars.
Protection of Children
In California, a new law has been passed to protect the children of celebrities and other high-profile individuals, such as judges or government officials. Aggressive photographers, also known as paparazzi, may not take photos or video of a child without consent. Those who are prosecuted for violating the law can be penalized with up to a year of jail time and a $10,000 fine.
Minimum wage increases to $9 an hour in California this year, and will increase to $10 an hour by 2016. Ohio minimum wage rates have also increased. Employers will be legally required to pay domestic workers time and a half if they work more than nine hours a day or 45 hours a week.