New Laws Go Into Effect Jan. 1, 2012

One new law gives Vets spouses tax relief

New Texas laws in 2012 will give big property tax breaks to the surviving spouses of some disabled veterans and protect homeowners.

Texas already exempts veterans who are declared 100 percent disabled from service-related causes from paying property tax on their homes. A new law taking effect Jan. 1 will extend that tax relief to their spouses after the veteran dies.

Texas has about 25,000 veterans classified as 100 percent disabled.

Texas homeowners also get new protections from aggressive homeowner associations that may seek to foreclose on their homes for late dues and fines.

A law requiring Texas voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot is pending approval by the federal justice department to ensure it doesn't violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

To see a list of all 21 bills that go into effect on Jan. 1, click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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