(WHTM) — With a new year comes new laws to know if you live in Pennsylvania.
Many of these new laws are a part of the 66 bills signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in November as he prepares to leave office in January.
Here’s a look at some of the laws that will go into effect in the new year.
Fentanyl test strips
On Nov. 3, 2022, Wolf signed PA House Bill 1393 to decriminalize the possession of fentanyl test strips. The test strips are typically small pieces of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin and drug forms including pills, powder, and injectables
Advocates of the law say it will help prevent fatal overdoses for people who aren’t aware they may be taking fentanyl.
Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith said, “Now with the legalization of fentanyl test strips, individuals have an additional tool to fight the overdose crisis. This legalization is a big win in the harm reduction space.”
The law goes into effect on Jan. 2, 2023.
License plate frames
Act 112 will prevent police in Pennsylvania from pulling over a driver for having a license plate frame that partially obstructs the plate.
A bill was introduced in September after the State Superior Court upheld a separate law that the frame around license plates cannot obscure any part of the plate, including the tourism website on the bottom.
The law says a license plate frame cannot block important information on the plate, such as the license plate number. The change will go into effect in January 2023.
In November, Wolf signed a law that legalized the possession of switchblade knives in Pennsylvania. The “automatic knives” had been classified as an offensive weapon in Pennsylvania. The law legalizing the knives goes into effect in January.
Crackdown on Pennsylvania Turnpike toll absconders
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has more power to crack down on thousands of drivers who don’t pay their turnpike tolls.
Starting in January, the Turnpike Commission will begin to notify registrants that their registrations will be suspended if they do not pay tolls worth more than $250. At least a month later, the toll agency can ask the Transportation Department to start the process, and PennDOT said it would give the owners six weeks’ notice.
The Turnpike Commission says they hope the new law will help them recover more than $100 million in uncollected tolls.
Governor Wolf signed a bill in November that allows for the regulation and operation of “highly automated vehicles with or without a driver.”
“This technology brings the potential for significant advancements in vehicle safety and mobility, and offers economic development benefits across Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in a signing letter.
Sex traffickers added to Megan’s Law
Those convicted of sex trafficking in Pennsylvania will now be required to register under Megan’s Law as registered sex offenders.
Data breach notification
Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 696, which expands the definition of personal information to include medical and health insurance information. The bill also includes a username or e-mail address, in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account.
The law also states that if a state agency determines that it is the subject of a breach of the security of the system affecting personal information maintained by the state agency or state agency contractor, the state agency needs to provide notice of the breach of the security of the system within seven business days following the determination of the breach.
The law goes into effect in May 2023.
Junior firefighter training
Junior firefighters who are 17 will be able to train on live-burn, interior firefighter modules in Pennsylvania if they have permission from a fire chief and their parent/guardian. The training would be completed under the instruction of a credentialed Pennsylvania State Fire Academy instructor.
Senate Bill 1027 amended the Child Labor Act and will go into effect in January 2023.