As we wind down 2023 and get ready to turn the page to 2024, thinking back to growing up in the 80's and 90's, as a kid, when I thought of the year 2024, I always had the vision of flying cars, robots everywhere and people in space suits roaming around.
While the robots are starting their takeover, I think we may be a while away from flying cars and people in space suits (although many people seem to have their heads in space most of the time but I digress...)
There will be some changes and new laws going into effect on 1/1/2024 and they look like this:
Increase to state's minimum wage
Washington state's minimum wage is increasing to $16.28 an hour next year, a 3.4% increase over 2023 and the highest in the nation. The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.
Enhancing voting rights
House Bill 1048, dubbed the state's Voting Rights Act 2.0, will expand voter protections. The law will strengthen the ability of civil rights organizations and indigenous tribes to pursue challenges to local and state election systems on their members' behalf.
Enhancing requirements for purchasing a firearm
House Bill 1143 will initiate a ten-day waiting period for purchasing or transferring any kind of firearm. The new law also stipulates passing a safety training program or providing an exemption.
Cannabis testing for employment
Due to Senate Bill 5123, some employers will no longer be able to test for cannabis use during the hiring process, beginning Jan. 1.
Some exceptions for employers do apply, including positions requiring federal government background investigation or security clearance, law enforcement positions, first responder positions like in fire departments, emergency communications, corrections officers, or airline/aerospace positions.
The expectation also includes positions where “impairment while working presents a substantial risk of death.”
Detering illegal street racing
Senate Bill 5606 changes the definition of street racing and imposes harsher punishments. Under the new law, cars can be impounded for 72 hours after the first offense of illegal street racing. In the second offense, the car would be forfeited after a conviction.
Under the law, anyone who organizes or participates in an illegal street race can be charged with aiding and abetting