With 2020 being an election year, the New Jersey legislature has a busy year ahead. Many of the issues they will be voting on this year won’t take effect until 2021 or later. During that time, it is easy to forget what our lawmakers have decided and how it will impact us and our communities. Here are a few of the laws taking effect in 2020.
One of the laws passed that will take effect in 2020 is an expansion of paid family leave for everyone in the state. This law will increase the length of consecutive weeks of leave from six to 12, as well as increase the benefits individuals can receive, increase the total amount of days for intermittent leave, protect employees from retaliation, and expand leave to cover the fallout of domestic or sexual violence. The aim of the law is to strengthen and support working families, and it works in partnership with increasing the earned sick leave and minimum wage.
Medical marijuana also became more accessible for patients across the state. The A-20 bill expands the list of medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana, raises the monthly limit to three ounces, protects patients from employer retaliation, introduces reciprocity with other states, eliminates sales tax over three years, as well as other enhancements.
The legalization of recreational marijana was one of Murphy’s campaign promises, but iti struggled to make it to the floor in 2019. The legislature did come to an agreement to include the issue on the ballot in November of 2020. This will allow the public to weigh in on the decision and allow the legislature to make a decision they know is backed by their constituency.
The “right-to-die” law allows patients who have a terminal illness that will result in their death within six months to petition their doctor for medication that will end their life peacefully. Patients will need to meet specific requirements, including proving they are making the decision of sound mind, and must be able to administer the drugs to themselves if permitted. This law aims to give dignity and the choice to avoid the often painful palliative or hospice care.
There are a number of laws going into effect in 2020 that help support minorities and marginalized individuals. This includes expanding discrimination laws to include natural hair or protective hairstyles, including the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals in history curriculums, and allowing transgener individuals to change their gender on their birth certificate.
Many of these laws mentioned are going to directly impact your life or the life of someone you may know. To learn more about the laws passed in 2019, read our breakdown of the election results.