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Ohio Rings in the New Year with New Laws

COLUMBUS -- The new year is bringing new laws to Ohio.

These measures include regulating exotic animal ownership, increasing the minimum wage and increasing Franklin County's sales tax. Additionally, Ohio State University has enacted a ban on all tobacco products on campus.

The exotic animal law follows a 2011 incident in Zanesville, where a man released several tigers, lions, bears, wolves and a baboon from his farm. Fearing the public's safety, officers shot and killed nearly 50 animals.

The new law requires exotic pets to be licensed. The Department of Agriculture says it has yet to issue any exotic animal permits.

The minimum wage law added a few more cents to certain hourly rates.

For untipped employees, the minimum wage rose from $7.85 to $7.95 an hour. Tipped employees are now to be paid $3.98 an hour -- a five-cent increase.

Franklin County residents experienced another increase, as the sales tax rose a half-penny for every dollar spent.

On average, a family of four will pay an extra $57 for products purchased in the county.

The additional funds are to be used to build a new jail and morgue, while creating an economic development fund to help attract jobs and business.

Finally, while not technically a law, OSU prohibited any tobacco products on university-owned property, including parking lots and garages.

Even E-cigarettes are forbidden, in addition to cigarettes, cigars and chew.

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