By Alma Nye and Alex Slusher
As with every year, new laws begin taking effect in the state of Oregon on January 1st. Here is a list of some of the most important news laws.
Joining many other states, Oregon has increased the required age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21. The age has been increased to help youth avoid nicotine addiction, one of the leading causes of death in Oregon. Stores will face stiff penalties if caught selling to minors, especially if the offense is repeated.
Another new law taking effect in the new year allows judges to take firearms away from anyone who they determine poses an immediate threat to themselves or family members. Supporters of this bill believe that it will help with the prevention of suicides and shooting sprees.
Expanded Bottle bill:
This year Oregon’s well known bottle bill, which allows people to exchange empty bottles for 10 cents is now expanding beyond just beer, water and soda cans. Starting January 1st, bottles for coffee, tea, hard cider, fruit juice, coconut water, kombucha and other drinks can be redeemed for the deposit.
Lower speed limits:
The city of Portland now has the authority to lower speed limits in residential areas. The 25 mile per hour speed limit in residential areas will be lowered to 20 miles per hour in many parts of the city.
Abortions for the Undocumented:
A bill passed last year, taking effect in January, will use taxpayer money to enable residents of Oregon whom are undocumented entrants of the country to receive free abortions.