Laws taking effect in the new year illustrate how states are diverging on some hot-button issues.
Texas will allow licensed owners to carry handguns openly in public places, while California will allow people to ask a judge to have weapons taken away from relatives who are believed to pose a threat.
California and Oregon will become the first states that automatically register eligible voters who obtain or renew a driver’s license. North Carolina will join the list of states requiring that photo IDs be presented at polling places.
The differences are a sign of a nation that is polarized politically.
Minimum wages are rising in several states, a contrast to inaction on the issue in Congress.