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New year, new laws: Statewide changes coming to Ohio in 2021

With a new year comes new laws that often impact our every day lives. 3News investigator Rachel Polansky is breaking down the law changes coming to Ohio in 2021.

CLEVELAND — With a new year comes new laws that often impact our every day lives.

3News investigator Rachel Polansky is breaking down the law changes coming to Ohio in 2021.

We are starting 2021 with a raise. Ohio minimum wage for non-tipped employees is rising from $8.70 to $8.80 an hour. Base pay for tipped employees is rising from $4.35 to $4.40 an hour.

In our schools, Ohio will not be adjusting the minimum reading test scores required for third-graders to get into the fourth grade. While it's typical for these scores to increase each year, it's not happening in 2021 because children have had to learn at home amid the pandemic, leading to mixed levels of success. The bill also states that if a high school student's end-of-year exams were canceled, their final course grades could be used in lieu of the test to allow them to still graduate.

Moving on to guns, Ohioans can now apply for and renew their concealed carry permits at any sheriff's office in the state. Prior to the change, residents could only apply for or renew their CCW's from the county they lived in or an adjacent county. The new law also extends all expiration dates through at least June 30, 2021. In addition, if a license expires between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021, the license is further extended an additional 90 days past the expiration date. 

In the animal department, new legislation allows law enforcement officers to seize and impound any animal they believe is the subject of animal cruelty – not just companion animals. The legislation also requires humane society agents to successfully complete training in order to serve. 

And now, legislation to watch in 2021.

While the Ohio senate has given final approval to the controversial 'Stand your Ground' bill that removes the requirement to retreat from a confrontation before firing a gun in self-defense, it's unclear what Governor DeWine will do next. But he has hinted at vetoing the bill.

“I’ve made it very clear, I think, many times, going back months, that I felt that before the legislature took up other gun bills, that they really should focus on what we have sent them," said Governor DeWine, referring to his package of gun reforms that lawmakers have sat on for more than a year.