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The start of a new year brings with it new laws that take effect throughout the state.

Tobacco tax

The new year means increased taxes on cigarettes and cigars, in addition to a new tax on nicotine vaping products with the passage of Oregon Measure 108 in the November general election. Cigarettes taxes increased by $2 to $3.33 per pack. Taxes on cigars doubled to $1. Vaping products and e-cigarettes are taxed at 65% of the wholesale price.

The money from the new taxes will largely go toward funding the Oregon Health Plan, with 10% of the tax revenue funding smoking prevention programming.

No more proof of citizenship for licenses

The Oregon DMV will no longer require proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency to obtain an Oregon divers license after a bill passed by the state legislature in the summer of 2019 removed the requirement.

Those licenses will not include automatic voter registration like other Oregon licenses. To get a license, the person must still show proof of residency in Oregon, pay fees and pass a driving test.

Drug decriminalization

Voters also passed Measure 110 in November which decriminalizes possession of small amounts of Schedule I drugs beginning Feb. 1.

Those found in possession of amounts of drugs like heroin and LSD deemed for personal use will only face a $100 fine for a class E violation. The fine can be waived if the person seeks treatment.

Reporter Becca Robbins can be reached at 541-885-4481 or rrobbins@heraldandnews.com.