Several new and highly controversial NC laws go into effect Friday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Several new laws going into effect in North Carolina Friday including the highly controversial voter ID bill.

2016 is the year most North Carolinians will need to bring photo ID whenever they head to the polls.

There are lawsuits challenging it, saying it will disproportionately harm minority groups.

“We had the Voting Rights Act, we thought, to protect all of this,” said Mary Klenz of the League of Women Voters NC in August.

The GOP stands on the other side of the debate.

“That raises serious questions about their true motivations on why they want to make it easier for people to commit election fraud here,” said Ricky Diaz with the North Carolina Republican Party.

Most voters will actually see the change in March when they head to the polls for the primary.

Another law that takes effect is one that requires abortion providers to send data to the state Department of Health and Human Services when they perform an abortion on a woman after her 16th week of pregnancy.

That information would include an ultrasound image of the unborn child.

“If anything, I ensured that bill was written so that women would not be denied access or further access,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in June.

Drivers will also see changes in 2016.

The gas tax dropped one cent and now sits at 35 cents a gallon.

At the DMV, drivers will see higher fees on titles, registration and licenses.

Another change, called the Property Protection Act, though opponents called it the “ag-gag” bill.

The law allows business owners to sue employees who deliberately get jobs for the purpose of secretly recording photos or video inside.

It comes following hidden camera cases of animal abuse.

“It’s been about an employee being hired to do the job he was hired to do and not there under false pretense,” said Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Sampson).

Matt Rice with Mercy for Animals called the bill unconstitutional and said it was meant to shield animal abuse.

Another law that takes effect Jan. 1 allows parents to freeze their kids credit to protect against identity theft.

RELATED: New law allows NC parents to safeguard their kids from ID theft

The same is true for legal guardians who are taking care of other adults.

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