We all have our own New Year's traditions, and most of them involve a fresh start of some kind.
Across the country, people are committing to resolutions like eating clean or exercising more. But maybe you're looking for a completely fresh start - as in dropping everything to move to a new state.
If you're getting the urge to move in 2019, Vermont could be the place for you, because they're offering a big cash bonus to new residents.
The state is trying to attract new Vermonters by offering a bonus worth up to $10,000. On January 1st, Vermont began accepting applications for the program, which encourages people who can work remotely for businesses outside of Vermont to live and work in the state.
In return for planting roots in the Green Mountain state, Vermont will cover the costs of relocating, computer software, and other expenses.
Why is Vermont so desperate for new citizens? The state has one of the highest median ages in the country at 42.7 years, according to the US Census Bureau, and its population has been slowly shrinking in recent years.
There is, of course, a catch: just $500,000 has been set aside for the incentive program, meaning as little as 50 people could qualify for any money.
Vermont's creative way to bring in new workers is just one law that came into effect on New Year's Day. Here's a sample of other unique or interesting laws that are now on the books:
- It's now illegal to sell anything in polystyrene food containers in New York City. The city says that the foam material is not recyclable.
- In Washington state, people who misrepresent their pets as "service animals" could be fined $500. The state now requires service animals to be trained, and their owners to have a medical reason for bringing the animal into a business or public building.
- California became the first state to require that pet shops sell animals from shelters or animal rescue services, not private breeders. Californians can still buy dogs and cats from private breeders themselves.
- California couples also have a new legal reason to treat their pets like part of the family. Starting this month, judges in divorce proceedings can assign custody of a couple's pets in the animal's best interest (instead of only taking into account who owns the pet).
- Shoppers using online retailers like Amazon will pay more in Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Utah, and West Virginia, as these states have added sales tax on out-of-state retailers.
- Hunters in Illinois have a new choice for their gear instead of camo green or fluorescent orange: the state now allows hunters to wear blaze pink.
[H/T: NBC News]