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New Laws Took Effect on January 1

BY MELANIE BUCK –

Several state laws have taken effect with the coming of the New Year. One of those laws is the increase of the minimum wage rate, which now stands at $8 per hour as of January 1st.

A tax decrease also took effect on the 1st, cutting tax rates for individuals and families making between $21,000 and $75,000 per year.

An income tax exemption will be allowed for payments from an agriculture disaster program for farmers and ranchers.

Also going into effect, is a law that states all catfish coming from outside the United States must be labeled as “imported” in grocery stores and on restaurant menus and driver’s licenses will now be good for eight years instead of four.

Under health care, all plans provided by under the Affordable Health Care Act in Arkansas will have to provide minimum benefits for pediatric oral health. Also, physicians will not be able to perform an abortion on a minor unless the minor has a notarized consent from a parent or guardian.

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