With a new year comes new rules and regulations across the country. State legislatures and local jurisdictions passed hundreds of bills last year on topics ranging from police reform and employment regulations to road safety and environmental protection.
Here are some of the biggest changes that went into effect on Jan 1.
Criminal justice reform. Following George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers, elected officials across the country pushed ahead with bills designed to curb racial profiling, reduce violent conflicts between officers and civilians, and improve transparency among police precincts.
A new law in California bans police officers from wearing uniforms that have camouflage or otherwise resemble military uniforms.
All uniformed officers in Connecticut are now required to wear their badges in a prominent place. The state’s officers must also undergo a mental health screening once every five years.
In Portland, private businesses are now banned from using facial recognition technology “in places of public accommodation.”
Some states have implemented laws that reduce punishments for nonviolent offenses and provide alternatives to prison.