TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The state of Florida kicks off the new year with some new laws on Wednesday.
Here are some of the big ones you should pay close attention to.
When driving through school zones, you won't even be able to hold a cellphone. Those areas as well as active work zones are now hands-free areas.
On a related note, texting and driving is now a primary offense. The penalty for first-time texting violators is a $30 fine plus court costs. If you are caught texting in a school or work zone, there's a $60 fine and you'll have three points added to your license.
Another change you will notice comes at the doctor's office. Health care providers will have to send all prescriptions electronically, unless there is an electrical failure of some sort.
This is to help better track prescription drugs and eliminate the confusion that can sometimes arise from doctors' messy handwriting.
The next change comes with the new state minimum wage.
The state’s Department of Economic Opportunity reports the newest calculation will bump up wages 1.12 percent, or a dime, to $8.56 per hour ($5.54 for tipped employees) in 2020.
In 2019, the minimum wage in Florida was $8.46 ($5.44 for tipped employees)
Another bill going into effect will honor and remember the flag, authorizing the display of flag at specified locations, on specified days and in a specified manner.
Also going into effect at the start of the year are bills related to qualified blind trusts, liens against motor vehicles and vessels, business organizations, office surgery, electronic legal documents, continuing care contracts and immunization registry.
For a complete list of bills from the 2019 Florida legislative session, click here.