New DMV laws to come into effect on July 1.

DMV Residents Face New Laws Come July 1 

From legacy admissions and gun laws to pollinator recognition, July brings a mix of practical and whimsical changes to DMV residents.

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As the calendar turns to July, residents of the nation’s capital and its neighboring states are preparing for a wave of changes.  From the bustling streets of D.C. to the quiet suburbs of Virginia and Maryland, new laws are set to reshape DMV daily life in subtle but significant ways.

Early July is always an exciting time to live in the DMV, as the laws passed last year made significant changes to daily life in the area. Last year, Maryland made waves by legalizing Marijuana recreationally, joining 23 other states and Washington D.C. For Virginia last year, passed laws for background checks for school staff and a minimum wage for employees with disabilities. 

In Washington, D.C., minimum wage workers will soon have cause for celebration. In 2023, the district added 90 cents to its minimum wage. This year, the minimum wage in the district will go from $17 to $17.50. Though a small boost, the raise could prove meaningful in one of America’s most expensive cities. 

Meanwhile, Maryland is embarking on an ambitious journey to combat child poverty. The ENOUGH Act, with its $15 million initial funding, promises to breathe new life into struggling neighborhoods. At the same time, the state is modernizing its approach to alcohol sales, allowing for home delivery. 

The state of the blue crab is also cracking down on suspicious ticket sales, requiring tickers to be more transparent with their customers. Vaping will now be banned in some indoor spaces as well. However, one of the largest changes to the state affects one of their largest revenues; college. 

Colleges in Maryland that receive state funding can no longer consider legacy or donor status in admissions. This comes after the historic Supreme Court case, which banned affirmative action based on race as a factor for admissions. Maryland, along with other states, such as Connecticut or Massachusetts, making this move to open doors for minority and low-income students, as they are more likely to attend when legacy status is not considered. 

Not to be outdone, Virginia is taking bold steps of its own. They are also declaring a law similar to Maryland’s, where legacy will not be considered for admissions. The state is also raising the age for marriage, setting a minimum age of 18, and banning minors from being married even if they are emancipated.  

One of the most important is the new Lucia’s law, which charges a parent or guardian with a felony if their child gains possession of a firearm when they know the child poses a threat to themselves or others. This comes after 13-year-old Lucia Bremer died, when another teenager, with documented mental illness, got a hold of their family firearm and killed Bremer. 

Another law that addresses the issue of guns is the banning of auto sears, a device that transforms a semi-automatic firearm to shoot automatically without manual reloading. The device is new and has caught national attention as many are concerned over the device being used for mass shootings. 

On a lighter note, the state is also banning declawing cats and making the European honey bee the official state pollinator of Virginia. They have also given more power to local governments, now allowed to reduce speed limits before 25 mph on highways in a business or residential area. 

As residents of the DMV area wake up on July 1st, small and large aspects of their lives may change. These new laws, each tackling diverse issues, will hopefully make the DMV a safer and more equitable place to live. 

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