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New laws on books may not last long

Revamped gun measures and tougher rules for payday lenders are among the laws set to take effect around the country today. But some of them may not be on the books for long.

This January, the statutes will kick in just as freshly elected governors and legislators arrive for work. And if new GOP majorities succeed in getting legislation repealed, the result may be sudden U-turns on issues that were only recently debated.

Before the November election, Democrats controlled legislatures in 27 states, with Republicans in charge of just 14. But after the nationwide Republican sweep, the GOP will soon control 26, the Democrats only 17.

With the switch in party control could come abrupt changes in the way some states handle government regulation, privatization and other matters.

Nowhere was the political shift more dramatic than in Wisconsin, where power in the Statehouse will shift wholesale from Democrats to Republicans. Already, incoming Republican Gov. Scott Walker and others would like to head off a law that makes it tougher for payday loan companies and auto lenders to do business in the state.

In New Hampshire, Republicans hope to shoot down a new gun law they say doesn't do enough to protect private property and gun owners' rights.

A variety of other laws will take effect without any threat of repeal.

While other states have increased 'sin taxes' and fees, Massachusetts will remove a 6.25 percent sales tax on alcohol in effect since August 2009.

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