Massachusetts laws that go into effect in 2023, Blue Laws

Nick DeGray and Jillian Andrews

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the new year comes new laws. Here are just some of the new laws that will go into effect through 2023.

Fair Share Amendment

The law will impose a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million in the state and will now be known as Article CXXI of the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution. Voters approved the law during the November election as Question 1. It received 52 percent of the votes.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

Work and Family Mobility Act

The law, also known as the driver’s license legislation, will allow Massachusetts residents who can not provide proof of lawful presence in the country to get a driver’s license or permit after meeting the other requirements.

Earlier this year, the House and Senate both voted to override the Governor’s veto of the driver’s license bill, and the legislation then became Question 4 of the November election. Voters approved the question with a 53.7 percent majority.

The law will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

Clean energy and Climate Plan

Governor Baker signed new climate legislation in March of 2021 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to work towards Net Zero emissions in 2050.

Part of the bill goes into effect in 2023. The legislation will authorize the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to establish an energy code for newly constructed buildings that municipalities may adopt.

This new code would need to be approved by a municipality and would implement certain restrictions on water use and what appliances are installed in newly constructed buildings.

Sports Betting

Sports betting was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August. Massachusetts casinos have already applied for in-person and online sports betting and the Gaming Commission is now working to approve those applications.

In December, the Gaming Commission narrowed down the date of a “soft launch” for in-person sports betting to January 31, 2023.

“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3. The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are saying, “Peace and safety.” Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the word of Inspiration? “Sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth, upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come as a snare. It comes to them as a prowling thief.
The world, full of rioting, full of godless pleasure, is asleep, asleep in carnal security. Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings. The proud boast is made, “All things continue as they were from the beginning.” “Tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” 2 Peter 3:4; Isaiah 56:12. We will go deeper into pleasure loving. But Christ says, “Behold, I come as a thief.” Revelation 16:15. At the very time when the world is asking in scorn, “Where is the promise of His coming?” the signs are fulfilling. While they cry, “Peace and safety,” sudden destruction is coming. When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle; when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief.
Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord’s appearing. Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. Few believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win.
The crisis is stealing gradually upon us. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the heavens still declare the glory of God. Men are still eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying, and giving in marriage. Merchants are still buying and selling. Men are jostling one against another, contending for the highest place. Pleasure lovers are still crowding to theaters, horse races, gambling hells. The highest excitement prevails, yet probation’s hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. Satan sees that his time is short. He has set all his agencies at work that men may be deceived, deluded, occupied and entranced, until the day of probation shall be ended, and the door of mercy be forever shut.
Solemnly there come to us down through the centuries the warning words of our Lord from the Mount of Olives: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” DA 635.1 – DA 636.3

The Desire of Ages by Ellen G White

The launch would allow bettors to plunk down wagers ahead of the Super Bowl (but not for the NFL’s conference championship games on Jan. 29), but it is largely dependent upon the commission’s equipment and software testing partner Gaming Labs International completing the work it needs to do to ensure that the technology the casinos will use meets the commission’s standards.

MGM Springfield so far has been approved for an in-person sports betting license.

Blue Law

The Massachusetts Blue Law controls which businesses can operate on Sundays and on some legal holidays. For some retailers in the state, they are required to pay employees a premium rate on Sundays if the business employs more than seven workers.

However, since 2018 this rate has been slowly declining and by January 1, 2023, that premium payments will be eliminated.

More information about the Blue Law can be found here.

$15 Minimum Wage

Massachusetts currently has a minimum wage of $14.25. Beginning January 1, 2023, the minimum wage in the Commonwealth will be increased to $15.00 an hour and the service rate will be $6.75. The increase is applied to all employees except for agricultural workers, members of religious orders, workers being trained in certain educational, nonprofit, or religious organizations, and outside salespeople.

As the papacy became firmly established, the work of Sunday exaltation was continued. For a time the people engaged in agricultural labor when not attending church, and the seventh day was still regarded as the Sabbath. But steadily a change was effected. Those in holy office were forbidden to pass judgment in any civil controversy on the Sunday. Soon after, all persons, of whatever rank, were commanded to refrain from common labor on pain of a fine for freemen and stripes in the case of servants. Later it was decreed that rich men should be punished with the loss of half of their estates; and finally, that if still obstinate they should be made slaves. The lower classes were to suffer perpetual banishment. GC 574.3

The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan by Ellen G White

“It helps because I mean with inflation we’re paying three times as much as we use to pay before for everything so rent is going up all the bills are going up so maybe people will benefit from making a little bit more money,” Ronald Soto Springfield Restaurant Owner, Banderas told 22News.

The worship of a common working-day, and the multitudinous ceremonies connected with this false sabbath, are of the same nature as the wrongs pointedly exposed by Christ when he said, “And many other such like things ye do.” The plain evidence of truth is not discerned. Laying aside the commandments of God as altogether unimportant, men follow tradition. They reject God’s law, in order that they may keep their tradition. Common things are exalted above those things that are sacred and heavenly.
Satan has taken the world captive. He has introduced an idol sabbath, apparently giving to it great importance. He has stolen the homage of the Christian world away from the Sabbath of the Lord for this idol sabbath. The world bows to a tradition, a man-made commandment. As Nebuchadnezzar set up his golden image on the plain of Dura, and so exalted himself, so Satan exalts himself in this false sabbath, for which he has stolen the livery of heaven.
In this work the principles of the enemy are deep and deceiving, and Christ’s words are appropriate, “Laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.” The heavenly universe is amazed that, in their credulity, men transfer the benediction given to the seventh day to the first day of the week. The Sabbath is God’s memorial of creation and rest, and at the beginning of the Sabbath command he places the word of warning, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Thus it was with the Jewish nation, and thus it will be with all who, laying aside the commandments of God, teach for doctrine the commandments of men. RH March 8, 1898, par. 12 – RH March 8, 1898, par. 14

RH March 8, 1898, par. 12 – RH March 8, 1898, par. 14

This increase is applied to all employees except for agricultural workers, members of religious orders, and workers being trained in certain educational and nonprofit organizations. In the new year, 27 states will see an increase in their minimum wage. Most will take effect on January 1, but others will have to wait until further into 2023.

RMV Cannabis Education

This one is not a law, but a new curriculum by the RMV to teach teenagers about the risks of cannabis-impaired driving. Massachusetts will be the first state to adopt such a policy.

As of January, Massachusetts will adopt a cannabis-impaired education program called “Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth About Marijuana and Driving.” The current driver education program will be updated to include more specific information on the effects of cannabis like cognition, vision, reaction time, and perception.

The updated curriculum will be taught to about 52,000 young drivers per year in 700 Massachusetts driving school locations.

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Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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