As 2018 turned to 2019, a bunch of new laws took effect in Pennsylvania.
For one, a new year in the commonwealth wouldn’t be complete these days without an increase to turnpike tolls.
They went up six percent at the start of the year—the eleventh straight increase.
Harsher penalties for drunk driving are now on the books too. Third-time offenders with blood alcohol levels at or above 0.16 now face felony charges.
Another new bill, which kicked in after Christmas, is a so-called “Clean Slate” measure. It’s designed to get people back into the workforce after convictions, automatically sealing records for summary offenses and non-violent misdemeanors after 10 years.
There is also a new law protecting child victims of human trafficking. Under it, these children can’t be prosecuted. It also creates a new victim services fund for them.