SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the new year comes new laws. Here are just some of the new laws that will go into effect through 2023.
Fair Share Amendment
The law will impose a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million in the state and will now be known as Article CXXI of the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution. Voters approved the law during the November election as Question 1. It received 52 percent of the votes.
The law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
Work and Family Mobility Act
The law, also known as the driver’s license legislation, will allow Massachusetts residents who can not provide proof of lawful presence in the country to get a driver’s license or permit after meeting the other requirements.
Earlier this year, the House and Senate both voted to override the Governor’s veto of the driver’s license bill, and the legislation then became Question 4 of the November election. Voters approved the question with a 53.7 percent majority.
The law will go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Clean energy and Climate Plan
Governor Baker signed new climate legislation in March of 2021 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to work towards Net Zero emissions in 2050.
Part of the bill goes into effect in 2023. The legislation will authorize the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to establish an energy code for newly constructed buildings that municipalities may adopt.
This new code would need to be approved by a municipality and would implement certain restrictions on water use and what appliances are installed in newly constructed buildings.
- Mass.gov – Appliance energy-efficient standards, testing and certificate program
- Mass.gov – Guidelines for implementing the Appliance Efficiency Standards at 225 CMR 9.00
Sports betting was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August. Massachusetts casinos have already applied for in-person and online sports betting and the Gaming Commission is now working to approve those applications.
In December, the Gaming Commission narrowed down the date of a “soft launch” for in-person sports betting to January 31, 2023.
The launch would allow bettors to plunk down wagers ahead of the Super Bowl (but not for the NFL’s conference championship games on Jan. 29), but it is largely dependent upon the commission’s equipment and software testing partner Gaming Labs International completing the work it needs to do to ensure that the technology the casinos will use meets the commission’s standards.
MGM Springfield so far has been approved for an in-person sports betting license.
The Massachusetts Blue Law controls which businesses can operate on Sundays and on some legal holidays. For some retailers in the state, they are required to pay employees a premium rate on Sundays if the business employs more than seven workers.
However, since 2018 this rate has been slowly declining and by January 1, 2023, that premium payments will be eliminated.
More information about the Blue Law can be found here.
$15 Minimum Wage
Massachusetts currently has a minimum wage of $14.25. Beginning January 1, 2023, the minimum wage in the Commonwealth will be increased to $15.00 an hour and the service rate will be $6.75. The increase is applied to all employees except for agricultural workers, members of religious orders, workers being trained in certain educational, nonprofit, or religious organizations, and outside salespeople.
“It helps because I mean with inflation we’re paying three times as much as we use to pay before for everything so rent is going up all the bills are going up so maybe people will benefit from making a little bit more money,” Ronald Soto Springfield Restaurant Owner, Banderas told 22News.
This increase is applied to all employees except for agricultural workers, members of religious orders, and workers being trained in certain educational and nonprofit organizations. In the new year, 27 states will see an increase in their minimum wage. Most will take effect on January 1, but others will have to wait until further into 2023.
RMV Cannabis Education
This one is not a law, but a new curriculum by the RMV to teach teenagers about the risks of cannabis-impaired driving. Massachusetts will be the first state to adopt such a policy.
As of January, Massachusetts will adopt a cannabis-impaired education program called “Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana and Driving.” The current driver education program will be updated to include more specific information on the effects of cannabis like cognition, vision, reaction time, and perception.
The updated curriculum will be taught to about 52,000 young drivers per year in 700 Massachusetts driving school locations.