Minimum Wage Hike, Vaping Changes Take Effect…

110 points

Revealed September 27, 2021 at 11:26 AM EDT

Minimal wage staff in Florida will get a voter-approved pay enhance this week, whereas about two-dozen new legal guidelines kick in, together with a regulatory framework for digital cigarettes.

After simply over 60 % of voters authorised a constitutional modification in November, the state’s minimal wage will go from $8.65 an hour — about $18,000 a 12 months for a full-time employee — to $10 on Thursday, with the speed for tipped staff transferring up from $5.63 an hour to $6.98 an hour.

Below the constitutional modification, the speed will enhance incrementally every year till reaching $15 an hour — $11.98 for tipped staff — on Sept. 30, 2026.

The measure maintains a $3.02 tip credit score that employers can apply to tipped staff.

Outstanding Orlando lawyer John Morgan spearheaded the constitutional modification, pouring tens of millions of {dollars} into its passage. Supporters mentioned it was wanted to assist low-paid staff. Additionally, for instance, state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, argued final 12 months it is going to assist counter an “anti-worker” agenda by Republican leaders and enterprise teams in Tallahassee.

However the modification confronted opposition from Republican leaders, akin to state GOP Chairman Joe Gruters, a Sarasota senator, and Home Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. Amongst different issues, they mentioned it could harm small companies.

The change additionally was opposed by enterprise teams, together with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Affiliation.

Along with the upper minimal wage, a sequence of recent legal guidelines will hit the books Friday after being handed throughout the legislative session that led to April. Many new legal guidelines took impact July 1, the beginning of the state fiscal 12 months.

Topping the checklist is a invoice (HB 1080) that creates a state regulatory framework for the sale of digital cigarettes. Amongst different issues, the invoice will increase the state’s authorized age to vape and smoke tobacco to 21, a threshold already established in federal regulation.

Home invoice sponsor Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, mentioned earlier than the measure was authorised that it was “necessary to stop youth vaping.”

However it drew opposition from outstanding well being teams, partially as a result of it is going to stop native laws on things like the advertising and marketing and sale of vaping merchandise and tobacco.

Teams together with the American Most cancers Society Most cancers Motion Community, the American Coronary heart Affiliation and the American Lung Affiliation unsuccessfully implored Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto the measure.

“By blocking the power of elected officials at the local level to protect kids — and failing to take any meaningful action at the state level — we risk another generation addicted to deadly tobacco products and the illness and premature death that come as a result,” the teams mentioned.

Among the many different new legal guidelines taking impact Friday:

— Baby welfare (SB 80): The measure makes wide-ranging adjustments within the child-welfare system on points akin to out-of-home placement, steps for reinstatement of parental rights and the method for transitioning youths out of foster care.

— Baby security (SB 252): The invoice creates the “Child Safety Alarm Act,” which requires automobiles utilized by child-care services to be geared up with alarm techniques that immediate drivers to make sure no youngsters stay on board when the automobiles are parked.

— Crime Stoppers (HB 363): The invoice makes it a third-degree felony to reveal protected communications offered to a Crime Stoppers group.

— Specialty tags (SB 676): The measure makes a sequence of adjustments involving specialty license plates, together with establishing an “Army of Occupation” design for veterans who served abroad in wars between Might 9, 1945, and October 2, 1990.

— DNA (HB 833): The measure, partially, defines DNA samples as “exclusive property” of individuals submitting the samples and limits using the DNA for legal databases until folks present “express consent” for evaluation.

— Written threats (HB 921): The invoice expands and updates legal guidelines about written threats and cyberstalking, together with threats involving mass shootings or terrorism.

— Company espionage (HB 1523): The measure, partially, creates second-degree felony expenses for “trafficking in trade secrets,” with the costs bumped to first-degree felonies if the trafficking is geared toward benefiting overseas governments.

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