New laws in the Sunshine State you should know about taking effect Jan. 1
The state gets a higher minimum wage
The 12-cent increase boosts the rate from $7.93 to $8.05 an hour. The minimum wage for workers who receive tips will rise from $4.91 to $5.03 an hour.
More than 20 states, including Florida’s neighbors Georgia and Alabama, pay $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum.
A new law calls for homeowners to begin phasing out old battery-operated smoke alarms. When people replace their smoke alarms, according to the legislation, they must reinstall a detector with a non-removable and nonreplaceable battery that lasts at least 10 years.
Child booster seats
Parents must place children in full child seats until at least age three. After that, four- and five-year-old kids can ride in booster seats. Some exceptions: Children between four and five years of age may use just a seat belt if the driver is not a member of the child’s immediate family, the child is being transported as a favor, in the case of an emergency, or when a doctor provides reason for an exception. Violators face a $60 fine and three points against their license.
New surcharge on car-sharing services
Members of car-sharing services who use a vehicle for less than a day will pay a surcharge of $1 and for more than a day, a $2 per day surcharge. Users of rental services pay a $2-per-day surcharge when leasing or renting a car.