July first marks the passage of new laws in state

By PAT BROWN,

Just as in every other year, many new laws go into effect on the first day of July or January of a new year.  This information comes from the Governor’s office.

  House Bill 1352 eases the penalty on some convicted felons in the state.  It stops the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for non-payment of fines and simple drug possession. 

  The Fresh Start Act, Senate Bill 2781, will allow a person with a criminal conviction to get a job license providing the conviction was not directly related to the job for which he seeks a license. 

   Senate Bill 2770 authorizes a $1,500 pay increase for teachers.

  House Bill 571 deals with human trafficking victims and prevents charges from being filed against those under the age of 18.  This will provide for protective custody as well as counseling for those minors affected. 

  If you plan to get married the cost just went up from $20 to $35. 

  The Senate passed the Landowner’s Protection Act, which decrees that if someone is injured on another person’s property and it was not the owner who caused the injury, the owner is not liable. 

  Terroristic threats-Senate Bill 2141 declares it a felony if someone makes a terrorist threat. This can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.  This means folks really need to watch comments they make on the internet. 

  More on gun laws-- while guns can be banned in court rooms, witness rooms and judge’s chamber this does not include the courthouse common area or grounds which are open to the public. 

  School safety has become of great importance, and House Bill 1283 requires public schools to have active shooter drills as part of emergency preparedness. 

  Corporal punishment (paddling students) is banned for students who have a disability or participate in a special education plan. 

  Senate Bill 2827 establishes a commission to study the pay of county elected officials, which include supervisors, chancery and circuit clerks, tax collectors and assessors and other elected county officials.  This law will include authorization of pay raises for these positions also. 

  Senate Bill 2229 allows that no sales tax be levied on the sale of a vehicle from one sibling to another. 

  The state had passed legislation to prevent abortion after a heartbeat is determined (six weeks) but that has been delayed in federal court. 

  House Bill 390 allows  retired law enforcement officers to provide security in churches and may allow for immunity for them in these roles. 

  Because this is an election year the laws scheduled to go into effect this year are not as stringent as they tend to be when it is not an election year.