In Virginia, companies that control or process personal data of residents now must adhere to a new privacy law. In Georgia, a stronger consumer protection law went into effect targeting those who sell goods online that have been stolen from retail stores. And in Illinois, a new law eliminates cash bail for most felony arrests, allowing defendants with few financial resources expanded ability to continue their lives while awaiting trial.
These are just a few of the many state laws that took effect Jan. 1 across the country. Some, such as those covering employment in California and establishing new courts in Texas, will have a direct impact on the legal profession.
In Texas, for instance, an omnibus justice law adds new provisions aimed at the operation and administration of the state’s judicial branch, while creating new district, statutory county, probate and magistrate courts, and providing more transparency to state court documents.
New employment laws in California expand paid leave and bereavement provisions. Another California law, which took effect Jan. 1, bars employers from discriminating against an applicant or an employee based on their reproductive health decisions, defined as “a decision to use or access a particular drug, device, product or medical service for reproductive health.”
Besides Virginia, California also has strengthened its statewide privacy law. The California Privacy Rights Act amends existing law and requires a privacy notice be given to employees and job applicants at the time of collection of their personal information. Now, employers by law will need to have mechanisms in place to respond to certain data subject requests from employees.
In addition, Colorado, Connecticut and Utah all have privacy laws taking effect later this year. Attorneys working in privacy law say firms in those states might need to update privacy policies, implement data-request procedures, review data security standards and provide employee training.
In Illinois, the new bail law limits the circumstances in which a judge can order pretrial detention, even for felony cases. It comes amid growing national debate between the merits of easing cash bail and the perception that this leads to increases in crime. Advocates for change point to equity issues between rich and poor defendants while opponents say too many alleged repeat offenders are being returned to the streets.
- Sample of news coverage of new state laws in 2023:
- Reuters: “New privacy laws in 2023 — considering draft regulations”
- St. Louis NPR: “What happens when cash bail ends next year in Illinois”
- Houston FOX 26: “Bills in Texas expected to go into law effective January 2023”
- Inside Compensation blog: “New California Workplace Laws for 2023“
- Palm Beach WPBF: “What you need to know about the new Florida laws that take effect on Jan. 1“
- Atlanta FOX 5: “These new Georgia laws take effect in January 2023”
- New Haven WTNH: “These new Connecticut laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2023“
- Las Vegas KLAS: “5 new Nevada laws taking effect in 2023“
- ABA Journal coverage of “new laws”