KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new year brings new laws to many states across the country. In Missouri, the minimum wage is going up $.10, from $7.25 to $7.35 starting January 1st. In Kansas, tax credits for child and dependent care along with tax credits for adoption expenses are disappearing as part of a new income tax overhaul. Kansas lawmakers reduced the income tax brackets from three to two, raised the standard deductions for everyone, and lowered the tax rates for most families and businesses as part of House Bill 2117, which Governor Sam Brownback signed into law. Those income tax changes are now in effect.
Some laws passed in other states, though, are raising some eyebrows. A new law in Wellington, Kan., will prohibit anyone from owning more than four cats at a time. Illinois lawmakers passed more than 150 new laws that are now in effect. For instance, strip clubs must now charge $3 at the door with all the proceeds going to charity. Not a stripper named Charity but actual charities. They call it a “skin” tax with all the proceeds going to rape crisis centers. It is now illegal to sell shark fins in Illinois but legal to collect dead animals on the side of the road for the fur – as long as you have a license. And Illinois lawmakers have decided to outlaw motorcyclists from doing wheelies on their bikes.
In Concord, Mass., plastic bottle are now outlawed and considered contraband. In Florida, you can now flash your headlights to warn other drivers of an upcoming speed trap and not get in trouble with the law. In California it is now legal for driverless cars to go on the road, though a human must be in the passenger seat of all computer-driven cars.
In Kentucky it is now illegal to release wild pigs, if you ever had a hankering to do that sort of thing. And in North Carolina, if you get caught stealing more than $1000 worth of unused cooking oil, you will be charged with a felony.