A slew of new state laws take effect with the turn of the calendar — ranging from minimum wage changes to pink hunting gear to a mandatory cursive writing curriculum. One state will even begin paying people to relocate for remote work.
A few of the more notable changes:
Minimum wages will increase
At the start of the new year, 19 states and 21 cities will increase their minimum wage, according to the National Employment Law Project. About 17 million people from New York to California will have received pay bumps, the project estimates, once additional minimum wage increases are phased in throughout the year.
Illinois hunters can wear bright pink
Hunting enthusiasts in Illinois have a new wardrobe choice. In addition to bright orange, hunters can wear bright pink in 2019 to meet safety requirements during gun deer seasons.
The bill passed unanimously in both state legislatures. It is believed that the new color option will help hunters see each other and prevent accidents while hunting upland game with a firearm. Previously, hunters were limited to orange hats and upper outer garment displaying a minimum of 400 square inches of orange.
Travel trends in 2019, according to TravelPirates experts
Travel trends in 2019, according to TravelPirates experts
1. Bucket-List Hotel Stays
"Hotels that are the attraction will be huge in 2019. Think: hotels with outdoor showers in Manhattan, beer on tap in the room, guest art classes led by a local artist, social networks for meeting other guests (and connecting digitally as you would at a good old-fashioned hostel), and walking tours of the local neighborhood.
Hotels aren’t just your starting point for travel anymore, they are your destination. People are putting accommodation at the top of their bucket lists."
2. Curation — But Ditch the Travel Agent
"This is not your parent’s cookie-cutter trip. The same-old, same-old is not in fashion anymore for travelers: they’re not looking for trendy destinations. They want to see what’s not blowing up on their Instagram feeds.
Travelers want websites that cull the knowledge of experienced travelers and lets them know where they should go and how. Inspiration is a big business."
3. Don’t Think, Go! The Rise of Spontaneous Traveler
"Point to a place on a map and go. Weekends aren’t for farmers markets anymore. Travelers want to embrace the spontaneous lifestyle — bookings for last-minute trips are up and will only continue to rise.
From a weekend trip to Bermuda or the Hamptons to a spur-of-the-moment booking for next week, the “just go” attitude is here."
4. Off-Peak Season Is On
"The boom of cheap international flights from the U.S. has led to an increase in travel. The catch used to be that many of these $99 one-way flights sent you abroad in the “off-peak” season. Yes, off-peak season, where the weather is cool, the bookings available, and crowds minimal. Sounds not-so-off, right!"
5. Food Tourism Embraces Fusion
"“Authenticity” is a huge buzzword, but apply it to food and it sparks debate. Food tourism was on the rise in 2018, but 2019 will take it to a new level, as travelers look to experience the food fusions that reflect the modern culture of the destination.
From the Singaporean hawker centers that dole out dishes that stem from the diverse ethnic group of the country to the famous bulgogi taco of Southern California to Montreal’s restaurant representation of 50-plus nationalities, travelers want to taste something different."
"In-room smart devices were a popular trend in 2017, but some hotel chains are taking the demand for hyper-connectivity to the next level with keyless room access. At Yotel Boston, you can check into your room using the chain’s app — no key required. What’s more, the Boston branch has a robot butler, YO2D2, who can deliver amenities and chat with you in the hotel’s lounge."
7. Communal Spaces — and the Hostel Vibe
"Chic, shared spaces are quickly becoming the norm for modern hotel chains. Why? Millennials want the community experience of a hostel with the luxurious furnishings of a hotel. The rooms at The Pod Hotel in Brooklyn are a minimalist’s dream, but the hotel really shines for its communal spaces.
It boasts a trendy rooftop bar and garden — the perfect place for hanging with other travelers."
8. Unique Amenities
"You know the oft-quoted mantra of seasoned travelers: See the city like a local. Authenticity is not just a recent buzzword, and the push for off-the-beaten-path travel has been amplified recently. The Freehand Hotel in New York City offers curated programming like nude drawing classes hosted by a local artist and historic walking tours of the local area.
New York City’s Arlo Hotel has suites with an outdoor shower for a truly memorable Manhattan experience — complete with shower beer."
Remote workers who relocate to Vermont can apply for up to $10,000 from the state government, starting Tuesday.
To promote economic growth, Vermont will cover expenses related to moving and working from home or a co-working space, including computer software and hardware. The state will give up to $125,000 to qualified applicants in 2019 on a first-come, first-served basis.
California requires pet stores only sell rescues
Only dogs, cats and rabbits from shelters or rescue groups can be sold at pet stores in California, beginning Tuesday. If pet store owners don't follow the law, including posting where the pet came from on its cage, they will pay up to a $500 fine.
Hawaii legalizes medically assisted suicide
Following six other states and Washington, D.C., Hawaii will allow doctors to provide fatal prescription medicine to terminally-ill patients who make several requests.
Two health care providers must confirm a patient's diagnosis and decision-making ability. A counselor must also verify depression or other conditions prevent the patient from making an informed decision.
Ohio requires kids learn cursive
Ohio has decided that cursive isn't obsolete. A law will require students to write legibly in cursive by the end of fifth grade. The handwriting instructional materials must be part of school curriculum by July 1.
Tennessee bans 'sanctuary' policies
With a law prohibiting local jurisdictions and law enforcement from adopting "sanctuary" immigration policies, officials may be forced to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
No cities in the state formally hold a “sanctuary city” status, reported the Commercial Appeal, a member of the USA TODAY Network. One county sheriff's office, however, may have to reverse its policy on refusing to detain people suspected of living in the country without documentation.
Massachusetts raises legal smoking age
Joining six other states, Massachusetts will only allow those 21 and older to purchase tobacco products. Young adults who turned 18 — the previous age requirement — before the new year can still buy cigarettes, however.