It happens every year. On January 1st, hundreds of new laws become effective in various places across the country. Mississippi is no exception to this, and when our calendars rolled over into 2016, we welcomed all sorts of new changes, ranging from health insurance policies to gun control. Here is a quick overview of new laws that took effect in Mississippi on January 1, 2016:
Changes to Regulations Governing Concealed Carry Permits
As of this year, not only will permit fees be waived for honorably retired law enforcement officers, but gun permits must clearly state that they are former officers of the law. This includes retired prison guards, as well. Again, they must have left the force on good terms in order to enjoy this benefit.
To learn more, see Senate Bill 2394
Changes Encouraging the Hiring of Veterans
If you are a business owner and you hire a veteran to work for you, you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000. The catch is that the vet must have served in the U.S. military after September 1, 2001, and he or she must have been honorably discharged. This credit is granted per veteran you hire, and it repeats for up to 5 consecutive years for each. The benefit will cut off when you reach a cumulative total of $1 Million for all of the veterans you hire.
To learn more, see House Bill 33
Changes Affecting Health Insurance
The insurance industry changes so constantly, it's hard to keep up! This year, we have two specific changes: one affecting cancer medications, and the other deals with autism diagnoses. Health care plans are now required to cover autism spectrum disorder screening, diagnosis, and treatment. They are also now prohibited from dropping your coverage if a member of your family is diagnosed with the disorder.
To learn more, see House Bill 885
Where cancer medications are concerned, insurance providers are now limited in the additional co-pays and deductibles that they can ask you to pay for cancer treatment. You will now pay the same amount of money for your self-administered cancer medication as you do for the medication that is administered by your doctor (in a hospital or clinical setting).
To learn more, see House Bill 952
Changes Affecting State and County Institutions
Four new circuit judgeships and three new chancery judgeships were created this year. The new judges were elected in November 2015, and they took office on January 1st, per House Bill 703. Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol troopers and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents were granted pay raises, as mandated by Senate Bill 2500. Finally, Senate Bill 2303 says that the superintendent is now appointed, rather than elected.
These new Mississippi laws are diverse and have been met with varying opinions. If you have questions about how these laws affect you, contact the Coxwell and Associates team today.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.