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Post Time- 08:57 PM Post By - admin

Massachusetts – New Laws for 2020

Several new, important laws and regulations will take effect this year including an important new regulation for drivers.  Keep reading to learn what changes to look for this year in Massachusetts.

Hands-Free Driving Law

Beginning on February 23, 2020 it is unlawful to operate an electronic device while driving unless it is operating in hands-free mode.  First offenses will cost $100, second offenses $250 and third and subsequent offenses $500, as well as auto insurance surcharges. Motorists are allowed a warning on their first offense until March 31, thanks to another grace period written into the legislation.

This law comes at a time when distracted driving accounts for up to 25% of all motor vehicle accidents.  While an offense may require live visual confirmation, camera and detection technology continues to advance.  It is best and definitely safer to take the 100% hands-free pledge.

Employment, Wages and Income Tax

  • Workers will begin paying into a system that funds the state’s paid family and medical leave program. Under the law, Massachusetts workers will be eligible to take up to 26 weeks of paid leave for medical or family reasons. The actual benefits will not be available until 2021.
  • The state’s income tax will fall to 5%.
  • The state’s minimum wage will increase to $12.75 per hour, beginning January 1, 2020. This pay hike will affect an estimated 420,600 workers.  The change is one of the most far-reaching in a 2018 Massachusetts law known informally as the grand bargain, which will roll out changes for workers and businesses over several years. It marks the second in a series of increases that will push the state’s wage floor to $15 per hour by 2023.  At that level, it would be the highest state minimum in the country. California’s hits $13 in 2020. All employers in New York City, meanwhile, have to pay at least $15.
  • Tipped employees will see an increase for the second straight year, this time to $4.95 per hour from $4.35. That minimum wage hits $6.75 within three years, but for now, it could mean roughly $21 more each week for a tipped employee who works 35 hours.

Flavored Tobacco and Vaping

Last year, Governor Charlie Baker approved a law that makes Massachusetts the first state in the country to ban flavored tobacco and vaping products. Flavored nicotine vaping products will be limited to smoking bars, where they must be smoked on-site.

There will also be a 75% excise tax on cigarettes and shops will be banned from selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. The law takes effect on June 1, 2020.

The pros at Shepard’s Automotive Center value customer relationships and we seek to be your one-stop-shop for mechanical and collision repair.  We invite you to contact us online or call 978-465-5973, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.  Regardless of your repair, we will be happy to work with you to map out a plan that fits your budget and solves your problems.

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