KSDK – The beginning of 2014 brings a new set of laws to the bi-state area, from a higher minimum wage in Missouri to medical marijuana sales in Illinois. We have a look at the new laws below:
-Minimum wage increase:Some workers are earning $0.15 more an hour today than they were yesterday. Minimum wage rose from $7.35 an hour to $7.50,effectively making Missouri one of 20 states with a wage above the federal minimum of $7.25.
-Replenish the Second Injury Fund: Another new law aims to replenish Missouri's Second Injury Fund, which benefits disabled workers who suffer additional work-related injuries. It's financed by surcharges on employers' workers compensation insurance premiums. The new law effectively doubles this fee, due to the fact that the fund previously had a balance of less than $3 million but owed nearly $39 million in payments.
-New tests for congenital heart disease: Doctors are now required to conduct a particular type of test to determine if babies have congenital heart disease. This raises the number of conditions covered by mandatory newborn screenings to 79.
-Concealed carry:Illinois became the 50th U.S. state to pass a concealed carry law. The first concealed carry licenses are expected to be issued by mid-January. To get one, you have to pass an extensive background check, go through 16 hours of training and pay a $150 fee.
-Legalized medical marijuana:Illinois has become 20th state to legalize medical marijuana, though agencies overseeing the program still have 120 days to lay out the application process for those eligible to get their hands on the substance.
-Hands-free law:Using your phone while driving in Illinois can now spell a $75 fine. Drivers in Illinois will required to use a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone if they want to talk on the phone while driving.
-Speed limit increase:The speed limit on rural Illinois highways has increased from 65 to 70 miles per hour.
-Changes to sex education: Public schools teaching sex ed are now required to discuss birth control methods, and not simply abstinence.
-Teen tan ban:Illinois teens under 18 can no longer use indoor tanning beds. Businesses caught letting underage customers get their Vitamin D fix could be fined $250.
-Some 17 year olds can vote in primaries: If you're eligible to vote in the November general election, a new law says you're also eligible to vote in the preceding primary, even if you're not 18.
-Puppy lemon law: New pet owners can now return a pet or be reimbursed for veterinary bills if sellers didn't disclose a serious illness.
-Cigarette butts classified as litter: Be careful with your cigarette butts. As of today, they've been specifically designated as litter, and anyone caught tossing one risks a $1,500 fine.
-Increased flash mob penalty: Anyone caught organizing a violent "flash mob" could face three to six years in prison.