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December 31-- As we move into the new year and a new decade, there are new laws taking effect for residents of the State of Georgia. Governor Brian Kemp signed over 300 bills into law in 2019; some having already gone into effect. Some of these new laws may affect you greatly, some not so much, but here are some of the more popular new laws beginning January 1st.

The bill that garnered most of the attention and was definitely the most controversial was House Bill 481, better known to most as the Heartbeat Bill. The law will ban abortions after a heartbeat can be detected and would have gone into effect January 1st but a federal court ruling in October has the law in limbo for now.

House Bill 63 gives physicians a way to maneuver around “step therapy” which is basically when an insurance company wants you to exhaust every other preferred medication before allowing you to receive the prescription that your physician wants to prescribe for you.

House Bill 478 makes the requirements to be placed on the state’s sex offender registry stricter and by requiring abusers to be 18 years of age instead of 13 to be listed.

House Bill 266 allows people that utilize a 529 plan to save for college to take a state tax deduction that doubles from $2,000 to $4,000 per child for single taxpayers, and from $4,000 to $8,000 for taxpayers filing jointly with a spouse.

House Bill 239 created a new business court that would handle contract disputes, copyright disagreements, and arguments over who came up with a money making idea.

Another law that has already gone into effect as of last Friday is a federal law that prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco products of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, and also e-cigarettes. The law is designed to deter teenage tobacco use and vaping. The Food and Drug Administration still has 6 months to finalize the law even though it went into effect December 27th.