New Florida laws taking effect on January 1

State of the State_330804

Flowers bloom near the Florida Capitol buildings Monday, March 4, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. The Florida Legislature convenes its 60-day session Tuesday. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Day one of 2020 will bring some immediate changes in Florida, with nine laws taking effect.

Here is breaks down some of the new laws that are likely to impact you.

Just over 1100 tickets have been written for texting while driving or not being hands-free in a school or work zone since the texting law took effect earlier this year, but with the new year comes tough new enforcement.

Law enforcement will ramp up ticket writing for distracted drivers.

“That’s the number one thing, just put it down,” said Lieutenant Derrick Rahming with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Also starting Jan. 1, the Department of Health will have more control over office surgery centers, which have been responsible for multiple deaths and hospitalizations throughout the state.

“It will increase patient safety by orders of magnitude,” said Celebrity Plastic Surgeon Michael Salzhauer at a March press conference.

Doctors will start having to electronically report all prescriptions.

Stricter vaccination reporting requirements will also take effect, but because of opposition from anti-vaccination groups, parents will still be able to opt their children out by claiming religious exemptions.

“At the end of the day it’s up to a parent to be able to make that decision,” said Erin Olszewski, President of the Florida Freedom Alliance at a rally in April.

You’ll also be able to have documents notarized online at the start of 2020.

The new year will also come with a 10 cent minimum wage hike, raising it to $8.56 an hour.

And 2020 could see more changes to the minimum wage.

Voters will get the chance to decide if they want to raise the minimum wage to $10 starting in 2021, ultimately reaching $15 an hour.

“I’m not saying right away I’m saying 11, then 12, 13, 14, 15 over a period of years,” said Florida for a Fair Wage Chair John Morgan at a speaking event in August.

After the New Year lawmakers will quickly be returning to work.

The 2020 session kicks off Jan. 14.

Some of the hot button issues already teed up for the 2020 session include parental consent for minors seeking abortions, mandatory e-verify checks for employment and raising teacher salaries.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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