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Interesting Massachusetts laws

This list of interesting Massachusetts laws is a work in progress.

  1. It is a crime against public health to spit on a sidewalk or subway platform. The punishment is a mandatory fine of no more than $25.00.  G.L. c. 270, § 14.
  2. It is illegal to throw away a refrigerator without first removing its door. G.L. c 271, §46.
  3. Children may not work as beggars before they are fifteen years old.  G.L. c. 272, §58.
  4. The song “Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land Is Free)” is the official “Patriotic Song” of Massachusetts. G.L. c. 2, §31.
  5. Massachusetts has a “stolen valor” law, modeled after the federal Stolen Valor Act. It is a criminal offense to obtain money, property, or some tangible benefit by misrepresenting oneself as a veteran or active member of the armed forces, or recipient of certain service medals, including but not limited to the Silver Star.  G.L. c. 272, §106.
  6. Massachusetts has a “wage gap” statute, called the Equal Pay Act. It makes it unlawful for employers to pay women less than men for doing the same work. G.L. c. 149 § 105A.
  7. Sales of diapers and United States flags are exempt from the 6.25% Massachusetts Sales Tax. A Guide to Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax.
  8. The City of Boston is one of many municipalites in Massachusetts to adopt the “Local Option” sales tax on meals of .75% on top of the 6.25% state sales tax on meals. G.L. c. 64L, § 2(a).
  9. Blasphemy is a punishable by up to one year in prison. G.L. c. 272, § 36.
  10. It is unlawful to put the word “maple” or “maple syrup” on a food product unless it actually contains maple syrup. Massachusetts Maple Law, G.L. c. 128, § 36C.

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