YAKIMA, Wash.- As soon as the ball drops on New Year’s Day, new laws will be in effect for 2019.
One of the biggest ones include minimum wage going up from $11.50 to $12 an hour.
But while some will be making more money, everyone in Washington state will have a small amount taken out of every paycheck for paid family and medical leave.
“So, every employee is going to be paying 66 percent total premium that’s going to be paid into this pot,” Jonathan Smith with the Yakima County Development Association said.
Someone making $50,000 a year will have about $126 a year taken from their checks.
Companies with more than 50 employees will pay around $75 per person making $50,000 a year.
But you won’t be able to use the leave until next year because this year is about creating that fund.
“So, starting in 2020, if an employee needs to take extended leave for the care of a family member or something like that, they’re going to be pulling money out of this pull,” Smith said.
Other new laws include a fine of up to $500 for misrepresenting animals as service pets.
And of course, the new restrictions on gun sales in the state of Washington that come with Initiative 1639.
Which pushes the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and holds gun owners responsible for safe storage.
This law in particular has hit a sour note for many people living in the Yakima Valley.
“That’s ironic. I think, that we have thousands of 18, 19, and 20-year-olds in our military, that they would not be able to purchase a rifle to go hunting, for self-defense,” firearms trainer Dave Kellett said.
I-940, which changes the standard for police use of deadly force investigations, went into effect at the beginning of the month. One of the first cases in the state is already being investigated in the valley.
People may not like it but these are the new laws and it’s best to follow them to stay out of trouble.