Democrat-run states are instituting a host of left-wing laws at the beginning of 2024 targeting several cultural and political issues.
States like California, Michigan, Illinois, Washington and Colorado are enacting laws pushing LGBTQ issues on their residents, as well as various restrictions to residents’ behavior that attempt to limit emissions or damage to the environment. Blue states are also targeting gun rights and expanding protections for illegal aliens.
California is initiating a new law on Jan. 1 that will fine major retailers if they don’t sell “gender-neutral” children’s toys in their stores. These items would have to be clearly marked and sectioned, and stores that refuse to comply will face a $250 penalty for the first violation and a $500 penalty for every subsequent offense.
This law also pertains to “any product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of children, or to help children with sucking or teething.”
“Let retailers decide what’s best for their customers and what their clientele want, but the last thing we need is for the state legislature in California to decide [what parents buy for their children],” Republican California Sen. Melissa Melendez told Fox News. “We don’t need the government trying to co-parent with us.”
Also starting in 2024, a new law in the Golden State will ban the sale of any gas-powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws or yard care equipment. Tens of thousands of workers in California who relied on such equipment for their businesses will be most affected by the new rule; concerns also exist over the efficacy and cost of electric-powered alternatives, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“The people most affected are going to be the Latinos that don’t have a big business,” Fulgencio Vazquez, a landscaping manager in Sacramento, told the Bee. Another landscaping small business owner, Rafael Guzman, told the Bee that big businesses would be the “only ones” to survive the new law, and noted that landscaping jobs with electric-powered equipment would take longer “because the machines don’t have the same potential.”
The law comes alongside a massive push in California to promote electric vehicles and the phase out gas-powered household appliances. California seeks to be completely reliant on green energy and 100% carbon neutral by 2045, according to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
Ron DeSantis blasts Gavin Newsom:
"You almost have to try to mess California up, yet that's what Gavin Newsom has done since he's been governor." pic.twitter.com/NWEaJowenX
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 1, 2023
In 2024, Michigan will expand its civil rights act to prevent discrimination on the basis of “gender identity,” according to the bill text. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that state justices must use the “preferred pronouns” of attorneys in their courtrooms starting on Jan. 1.
The judges who dissented against the ruling said that the courts should not intertwine politics with legal practices.
“This is a fluid political debate into which our judicial branch of state government should not wade, let alone dive headfirst and claim to have resolved,” Justice Brian Zahra wrote in his dissent. “Such hubris has no place within the operation of a judicial branch of state government.”
Michigan is also issuing multiple new restrictions on gun and firearm rights going into the new year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers signed legislation to expand background checks for gun sales, restrict gun ownership for individuals convicted of domestic violent misdemeanors and institute “red flag” policies that would allow courts to remove guns from individuals that the courts deem as a safety risk to themselves or others.
Similar to California lawmakers, Whitmer signed the Clean Energy and Climate Action Package Act in November which seeks to make the state 100% carbon neutral by 2040; the act goes into effect starting on Feb. 27, 2024.
The act would require all of the state’s utilities to increasingly source from green energy, like solar and wind power, or from nuclear, hydrogen, and natural gas. Whitmer claims that Michigan’s new green energy laws will save the state’s residents approximately $145 a year on utility expenses, but residents can actually expect to pay thousands more in supplemental energy costs per year under the green energy plan, according to think-tank Mackinac Center.
Michigan Dems following in Merrick Garland’s footsteps of attempting to criminalize conservatism. https://t.co/Mh5oHIoCjZ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 10, 2023
In Illinois, a new law going into effect on Jan. 1 will allow non-citizens to become police officers and sheriffs, so long as they are deemed “legally authorized” to work in the United States. This would include individuals who are in the U.S. under green card status as well as individuals on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) list, according to The Associated Press.
“To the Left, citizenship is meaningless,” Republican Presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in July during a criticism of Illinois’ new law. “No illegal alien should have authority over any American citizen. It is a sad commentary on the state of America that this is even a debate.”
Landlords in Illinois will be required under state law to rent or sell property to noncitizens and illegal aliens beginning on Jan. 1. Illegal immigrants will also be allowed to obtain a standard driver’s license starting in mid-2024, according to a separate bill.
Beginning on Jan. 1, Illinois will shut off state funding for public and school libraries that ban books for political reasons, including books that promote LGBTQ+ ideology, making it the first state to enact such a law, according to state Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office. Parents and lawmakers alike have expressed concern that some of the books in question contain sexually explicit content that should not be promoted to children.
In Colorado, a new law will go into effect beginning on Jan. 1 banning certain single-use plastics, following in the footsteps of other blue states that have enacted similar legislation. These include plastic bags, such as those found at a grocery store, as well as Styrofoam cups and takeout containers, which are typically less expensive than paper or biodegradable alternatives, according to packaging company Swiftpak.
“The Democrat-led plastics ban, is an anti-business attack on the restaurant industry, schools, and struggling families,” the Colorado House GOP said of the law when it was initially introduced.
Washington state will add further restrictions to existing gun laws on Jan. 1 requiring potential buyers to wait 10 days before purchasing any class of firearm. Washington will also join California in banning employers from asking employees about cannabis use, or discriminating against them should they test positive for consumption.
The offices of Newsom, Whitmer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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