The beginning of the New Year is a time of forming new resolutions and creating new goals. And this year, six new laws will be going into effect in Florida.
Last year in 2017, there were 234 bills that were agreed upon to commence in 2018 by the state’s Legislature. The bills range anywhere from transit changes to family law regulations as well as a minimum wage hike. All laws will go into effect in July of the fiscal year.
Minimum Wage Hike
First and foremost, Florida is one of the several states that agreed upon raising the minimum wage to $8.25, a total of $0.15 increase. The direct hourly wage for tipped employees in the service industry is now $5.23, a $0.15 increase.
Child Custody Laws
The regulations on time-sharing agreements have changed. If both parents or guardians of a child cannot come to an agreement on days and times that the child will be shared, the court will now have legal right to decide on behalf of them.
Every one of us have either heard of or personally experienced a rideshare, such as Uber or Lyft. In 2018, rideshare companies won’t be able to be run as private contractors – they’ll have to abide by the same state laws and regulations as that of taxi drivers. People who drive for Lyft and/or Uber, concurrently with taxis, will be mandated to pass a criminal background, pay an annual fee, and obtain an occupational permit.
Therapy dogs and other animals have been a growing trend in the last several years. Allowing therapy animals on flights to comfort their companions has been one of the biggest advancements in the mental health world.
In Florida, lawmakers have agreed upon following suit by allowing therapy dogs into courtrooms to aide and comfort children that are brought in to testify. Therapy dogs have a proven track record of bringing nervous children a sense of security in perceived scary environments.
In 2018, lottery games will now be mandated to have a warning label on each retail piece. Although this bill was vetoed last year and the previous year, it was passed in 2017 to be put in place in Florida in 2018.
A new term coined “medication synchronization” has now been mandated. This means that health insurance companies must allow patients to synchronize their prescription refills. This new bill will help patients align refill dates of prescriptions and keep their health on track.
Public Record Exemptions
Public record exemptions will now be fully enforced in Florida that will prevent the Office of Financial Regulation from releasing sensitive and private information about their customers. Any personal identifiers will no longer be allowed to be published, a new concept referred to as “qualified limited service affiliates.”
A new bill was passed that will adapt new rules regarding record keeping practices in corporations that specialize in international banking. Licensing will also be edited and amended that will promote more organization and safety.
Attorney David Joffe practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts. With access to reliable support staff and in-house investigatory services, our attorneys at Joffe Law, P.A. are able to bring their substantial skills to bear more efficiently and more effectively to work on your behalf. For a free consultation, call our law firm today at 954-723-0007.