Wednesday, January 2, 2013

With the new year come new laws

If you’re writing a check, make sure your date ends with a 3 instead of a 2. And if you want to make sure you’re not breaking new state laws, read this handy little summary posted by the Northwest Progressive Institute yesterday.

NPI's post includes a heads-up about changes that went into effect as of 1/1/13, including:

  • The minimum wage in Washington is increasing to $9.19 as of today, in accordance with Initiative 688. That’s good news for working men and women whose employers pay them no more than what the law requires (which is not a living wage). Unfortunately, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. Washington and Oregon have higher minimum wages, which are also the highest in the country. [Here's an HDC Advance post from last week about the increase in Washington's minimum wage.]
  • Attention anglers: The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife wants you to know that barbless hooks are now required for salmon, steelhead (the state fish) and cutthroat trout in the mainstem Columbia River above McNary Dam. See F&W’s announcement for more details.
  • Mandatory recycling of compact fluorescent bulbs begins today. RCW 70.275.080 prohibits Washingtonians from knowingly placing light bulbs that contain mercury in the trash. CFL bulbs containing mercury must be recycled. No exceptions! Ecology has a web page with more information about properly disposing of CFL bulbs.
For a complete list of bills effective in 2013, click here.