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Texas gets changes to gun rules and taxes on mixed drinks

You may have to pay more for a night out on the town if you live in Texas.
You may have to pay more for a night out on the town if you live in Texas.

Mixed drinks throughout the state of Texas now face the same sales tax as beer and wine.

The process for applying for a concealed handgun license is a little easier. Now you can get one without providing your social security number.

Also classroom instruction hours have been reduced.

Landlords of apartment complexes will now be required to give written notice to tenants and to the city of a pending disconnection of utility service because of a landlord's nonpayment of a bill.

A utility must also provide written notice to the city where the complex is located before a disconnection. This is aimed to protect tenants whose utility bills are included in their monthly rent.

Previous state law created two state registries for both employees and nurses' aides who work in facilities licensed and regulated by the state Department of Aging and Disability Services. The registries were designed to protect the elderly and the disabled from acts of abuse, neglect, exploitation, misappropriation and misconduct.

A new law grants registry access to individual employers and management companies in addition to facilities, requires record-keeping of these periodic background checks, prohibits employment of persons convicted of exploitation of a child, a senior or a disable individual and gives employees accused of misconduct the right to a formal hearing.

In total, the Lone Star state added 600 new laws for 2014.

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