NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 3, 2006

The new year has dawned with an array of state laws taking effect. Among the new laws:

  • New Jersey and Virginia now bar making public a person's Social Security number, while Minnesota requires businesses that hold such information to quickly notify clients if there is a breach of security.
  • Michigan demands background checks of just about anyone working at schools, and it bans convicted sex offenders from living or working within 1,000 feet of a school.
  • Missouri is requiring homeowners' associations to delete "restrictive covenant" policies that discriminate by race or religion.
  • Oklahoma cut taxes for nearly everyone, and New York cut them for those making more than $150,000 a year; meanwhile, Florida cut taxes on stocks and bonds while Nevada gave a tax break to property owners, and West Virginia lowered its tax on food.

In the area of health care:

  • Missouri created a state prescription-drug program for lower-income seniors to pick up costs not covered by the new federal Medicare prescription plan.
  • Wisconsin lawmakers expanded the state's health care program for the working poor to provide prenatal care and delivery services to illegal immigrants and inmates.
  • Virginia law made illegal immigrants ineligible for state or local benefits such as welfare or health care.

Lastly, Illinois outlawed human trafficking, already a federal crime, and approved a state amphibian -- the Eastern tiger salamander won 51 percent of the Internet vote, beating the gray tree frog and American toad.

Source: Robert Tanner, "New laws cover taxes, health care, amphibians," Associated Press, January 3, 2006.


Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues