CLEVELAND — Legal analysis: In Ohio, unless a bill specifically states otherwise, new laws signed by the governor in the previous year take effect on January 1.
Legally speaking, there are quite a few new laws for 2022 that could make a difference in your everyday life, ranging from new voting district maps to limits on abortion access, fending off robocallers and sports betting.
Here's a run down of a few big ones that should be on your radar.
Late last year, Gov. Mike DeWine signed off on a new congressional voting district map for Ohio, which was drawn exclusively by Republicans after Democrats didn’t agree that it was fair. While that's supposed to be used for the upcoming elections in November, it's currently being challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court, so we'll have to wait and see what those final boundary lines look like.
In the field of reproductive rights, it’s getting tougher to get an abortion in Ohio. Starting March 23, doctors who teach at state-funded hospitals and medical schools won’t be able to work at clinics where pregnancies can be terminated. Under the same law, titled the "Born-Alive Infant Protection Act," a new crime is outlined if doctors don’t try to save the child’s life in the very rare case where a baby is born alive after an abortion attempt. This provision of the law is redundant, since existing homicide laws would already cover this kind of medical malpractice.
Additionally, a child being born in this case is so rare, that it almost never happens. One CDC report on death certificates for infants from 2003 to 2014 showed “143 deaths involving induced terminations” during that 12-year period, and 97 of those involved either a complication for the mother, or a congenital issue. This law is expected to be challenged in court, too.
On the personal communication front, it’s now a crime for someone to make it look like they’re calling you from a different number. This is called "spoofing," and this law means we should see less fake local phone numbers showing up from robocallers, trying to trick us into picking up the line.
For people who work in the service industry, now you can serve alcohol to customers once you hit age 18. Before, you had to be 19 years old. Business owners hope opening this kind of job up to more people will help out with the worker shortage we’ve seen across so many different jobs, here in Ohio.
And speaking of jobs, the minimum wage in Ohio just got a little bit higher, thanks to the Ohio Minimum Wage Increase Amendment passed in 2006. It calls for a yearly increase in the minimum wage, proportional to inflation. For most people, this year that requires a fifty cent raise, increased from $8.80 to $9.30 per hour. If you make that much and work forty hours per week, you'll bring in $18,600 before taxes this year. After taxes, that equates to just under $15,000 of take home pay. For people who also earn tips at work, the minimum wage went up twenty five cents, from $4.40 to $4.65 per house.
And if you can afford it, very soon you’ll be able to bet on sports in the state. Ohio has all year to roll this out, but as soon as the Ohio Casino Controls Commission can iron out the details people will be able to start rolling the dice on professional, college and e-sports games. The commission expects to start accepting applications to run sports betting as soon as fall of this year.
Stephanie Haney is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and California.
The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only. None of the information in this article is offered, nor should it be construed, as legal advice on any matter.