New laws will be taking effect in Arkansas at the start of the New Year. These laws will cover many things from auto insurance to human cloning funding. The minimum wage of Arkansas will also be raises from $9.25 per hour to $10 per hour. The new laws going into effect are as follows:

• Act 653 prohibits state funding of human cloning and destructive embryo research.

• Act 182 reduces the top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.6%. In 2021 it will lower again to 5.9%

• Act 869 requires the implementation of the online insurance verification system by Jan. 1, 2020. In a routine traffic stop, the new online verification system allows the officer to confirm in real time whether the vehicle is insured. Under the current system, the insurance data accessed by the officer may be up to 30 days old.

• Act 564 requires the annual publication of the county budget and the annual financial report of the county.

• Act 774 requires the Department of Finance and Administration to provide space on individual income tax forms for a taxpayer to designate more than one account for the direct deposit of the taxpayers refund beginning with the returns files for tax year Jan. 1, 2020.

• Act 1063 provides that a tow facility may tow heavy duty motor vehicles as part of a low enforcement program if the tow facility is licensed by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board, passes safety inspections, and complies with state and federal laws.

• Act 866 prohibits a business that is subject to a business closure order by the Department of Finance and Administration from contracting or doing business with the state.

• Act 1021 establishes the process for governing directed trusts and clarifies the applicability, principal place of administration, excluded powers, limitations, defenses, and duties and liability of trust directors and directed trustees.

• Act 822 extends the net operating loss carry-forward period to eight years for losses occurring in the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2020.

• Act 988 amends the law concerning the reemployment of certain retired members of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. The act applies to a member of the system who on or after Jan. 1,2020, elects to participate in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, retires from the system as a participant in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or retires from the system.