New year, new laws: Nearly 24 new laws go into effect in 2019

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

The new year will bring a variety of new laws to the Garden State.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed about two dozen new laws for the state over the past few months, many of which will go into effect early in 2019.

Among the new laws is a ban on smoking at public beaches. Violators caught smoking on the beach will be subject to a $250 fine on the first offense and a $500 fine on the second offense.

Gov. Phil Murphy also signed a package of laws regarding school bus safety. The six new laws were proposed in the wake of a deadly school bus crash on Interstate-80 in May. Among those laws: All school bus drivers must submit proof of physical fitness. They also have to complete safety education training twice a year.

Murphy also signed a package of laws regarding gun reform. Some have already gone into effect, such as limiting the amount of ammunition that can go into a magazine from 15 to 10. A new law going into effect for 2019 grants courts the ability to take away guns from people who pose a danger.

Another new law will make it easier for transgender residents to amend their birth certificates.

A new tax will reinstate the individual mandate in New Jersey to encourage residents to sign up for health insurance. The Affordable Care Act created a federal tax that will not be levied after the 2018 tax year. The state tax is designed to prevent erosion of health insurance markets once the federal tax expires, according to lawmakers.

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