New Jersey adopts new laws for 2018

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Some new laws will go into effect in the Garden State now that 2018 is here.

The state’s sales tax will now go down to just under 6.6 percent. The lowering of the tax was part of the agreement when Gov. Chris Christie passed the gas tax bill. New Jersey Policy Perspective estimates that households that make between $49,000 and $79,000 a year will see a savings of about $86 with the decrease.

New Jersey’s hourly minimum wage has now increased 16 cents to $8.60-an-hour. Minimum wage has been increasing incrementally in New Jersey over the years. 

But Seton Hall professor Matt Hale says that a larger increase may be coming in the future. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy says that he wants to see a $15-an-hour minimum wage in New Jersey.

“Ours is a little increase, but I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure and a lot of push to make that big jump in 2018,” he says.

New Jersey also formally legalized paid-entry fantasy sports. This could be a preview to legalized sports betting in New Jersey if the Supreme Court rules in the state’s favor this spring.

“The Christie administration has made a play to try to increase sports betting as a revenue source, so the changes in fantasy laws are tied to that as well,” Hale says.

New Jersey state identification cards will now identify “Gold Star” families. Family members can use the IDs to get free or reduced admissions to state beaches, parks and museums. Gold Star families are families who have had a family member killed in service in the military.

Starting in February, New Jersey driver’s licenses and ID cards will expire every four years on the user’s birthday instead of at the end of the month. This was done to try to alleviate long wait times at Motor Vehicle Commission offices.

New Jersey could see legalized recreational marijuana this year as well. Murphy pledged to legalize cannabis in New Jersey as part of his campaign.

Murphy will take office Jan. 16.

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