New laws for 2019 take effect across US

Year rings in with bigger paychecks for some workers

Wide variety of new state laws kick in New Year's Day

(CNN) - A wide variety of new state laws kick in New Year’s Day.

They include laws on female representation in corporate America, minimum wages, voting rights for former felons, pets, hunting wardrobes, teaching kids handwriting and alcohol.

The year rings in with bigger paychecks for some workers in at least 19 states that are increasing or adjusting their hourly minimum wages on or around New Year's Day, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Workers from Maine to Missouri to Arizona will see bumps in their paychecks, even as the federal minimum wage hasn't budged from $7.25 since 2009.

Just as the 2020 political season kicks off, next week the state of Florida will restore the voting rights of former felons upon the completion of their sentences, excluding those convicted of murder and sexual offenses.

Utah officially has the nation's lowest blood-alcohol content standard for drunk driving - now at .05 percent. That's as little as one drink for most women, and three drinks for most men to reach the new limit.

Over in California, public-held corporations based in the state must have at least one woman on the board of directors by the end of the year. And by the end of 2021, corporations must have at least two or three female members, depending on the size of the board.

Violations of this new law can be punishable by fines up to $300,000.

Also in California, pet stores are no longer allowed to sell cats, dogs or rabbits unless they come from animal shelters or nonprofit rescue groups.

The Golden State also is home to a new law that gives pets more rights - no longer will the family dog and cat be treated by courts as physical property. Judges can now decide who gets custody of the family pet during divorce proceedings, based on what is in the best interests of the animal.

Fashion forward hunters in Illinois will now have another color option for their hunting wardrobe. The state becomes the seventh to expand the color options for hunting from the standard "blaze orange" to an equally bright "blaze pink."

And in an age of tweets and texts, the state of Ohio is going retro. Students there will now be required to learn how to write in cursive by the end of fifth grade.

Copyright 2019 CNN. KTXL, KGO-TV, WSVN, WMTV, WRAL contributed to the report. All rights reserved.