New year brings new laws for 2021. Here are some highlights.

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Besides marking a new year, New Year’s Day also marked the day that a number of new laws pertaining to everything from the police to corporate boardrooms took effect.

But while some of the laws made sense — such as laws that offer protection to police officers and first responders — others made no sense at all.

In California, for instance, large companies that operate out of the hellhole state will now be required to have at least one board member who’s a racial or sexual minority. The required number is expected to increase come in 2022. There goes meritocracy.

California residents will also have to contend with a ban on flavored cigarettes and e-cigarettes, “protections” for so-called transgender inmates and leniency for pedophiles.

The latter law “applies to cases where a person has been found guilty of having oral or anal sex with a minor 14 years of age or older, where the age difference is not more than 10 years. It gives judges in that case the leeway to decide whether the convicted person should be required to register as a sex offender,” according to The Sacramento Bee.

As for the transgender “protections,” they basically allow men who claim to be women to be housed in female prisons, despite the immense risks entailed.

Meanwhile in Oregon, drug dealers and abusers caught with “small” amounts of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine will be offered a chance to just pay a measly $100 fine and attend a “recovery program” instead of being convicted.

In Connecticut employees will be forced to give up half a percent of their wages to fund a paid family and medical leave program, in New York employers will be forced to institute a sick leave program and in 20 states the minimum wage will go up.

As to America’s law enforcement agents, they got both some good news and bad news.

In a number of states chokeholds are now banned, and this could potentially limit the ability of officers to restrain strong suspects who resist arrest.

Over in Pennsylvania, a new “Move Over” law “strengthens the state’s existing ‘Steer Clear’ law, which requires drivers to shift into another lane when approaching an emergency response area on the side of the road,” according to station WGAL.

“Under the new law, drivers must slow down to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit if they can’t move into another lane. The law also doubles the fines for a summary offense.”

This is slated to better protect law enforcement officers and first responders.

Learn more below:

Georgia, on the other hand, approached police protection from another angle, with Gov. Brian Kemp signing a law last August that created a new crime — “bias-motivated intimidation” — that’ll apply to “to the death or serious bodily injury of a police officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician,” as reported by the Associated Press.

“The crime would also apply any time someone causes more than $500 in damage to property owned by police, firefighters or emergency medical technicians because of ‘actual or perceived employment as a first responder.'”

This new crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

“House Bill 838 is a step forward as we work to protect those who are risking their lives to protect us. While some vilify, target, and attack our men and women in uniform for personal or political gain, this legislation is a clear reminder that Georgia is a state that unapologetically backs the blue,” Kemp said at the time of the signing.

The bill of course provoked anger from the anti-cop left.

Also in Georgia, entertainment companies — think Hollywood — that apply for a state tax credit that reportedly cost taxpayers $900 million in 2019 alone will have to undergo an audit before receiving their freebie.

Below are some more notable new laws:

  • Residents of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota may now legally use marijuana “recreationally.”
  • Colorado landlords can no longer refuse to show, rent or lease property based on the potential lessee’s income.
  • California businesses must inform the government of any coronavirus cases in their office within 48 hours of learning of the diagnoses.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for Washington state residents who purchase insulin will be capped at $100.
  • Connecticut pharmacists will be required to dispense a price-capped 30-day emergency supply of diabetes medication/devices if the patient has less than a week’s worth of medicine left.
  • New Hampshire residents will enjoy stronger sexual assault laws that define “any sexual contact between school employees and students between the ages of 13 and 18” as sexual assault, according to CBS News.
  • Church-owned property that’s used for teaching children will be tax-exempt.
Vivek Saxena

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