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New year means a variety of new state laws

Deer Park Tribune of Deer Park, Washington

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Washington State residents face a variety of new rules and regulations in 2014.

Among the changes is the annual increase in the state's minimum wage.

Enacted by voters in 2001 to raise the minimum wage annually to reflect in increases in the Consumer Price Index, the state's minimum wage will increase to $9.19 per hour in 2014.

Premiums for the state's workman's compensation insurance will increase on an average of 2.7 percent in 2014. The increase will mean about a 2-cent per hour hike for employers for every worker.

Most of the state's marijuana laws as it relates to growing and publically selling cannabis will not take effect until this spring.

Laws in Colorado, where voters also approved the legal sale and growing of marijuana go into effect on Jan. 1.

Washington boaters under the age of 50 and operating a watercraft with a 15 horsepower motor or larger must take a safety education course and obtain a one-time-only Boater Education Card to operate a boat in Washington.

As part of the state's new DUI laws, which took effect in September, a provision requiring some individuals with multiple DUI convictions on their records to undergo daily alcohol monitoring in certain jurisdictions will take effect on Jan. 1.

Consumers who purchase prepaid wireless phones and minutes, you will see a new charge on your sales receipt starting Jan. 1, when a new state law takes effect that requires retailers of prepaid wireless services to collect the tax that supports enhanced 911 services (E911).

Currently, wireless companies are required to collect and remit the E911 tax.

Cellphone users under contract pay this tax on each month's bill.

But for prepaid wireless users, the tax has not been visible as part of their purchase of phones or minutes.

Now. for prepaid wireless users, the E911 tax will be charged at the cash register and collected by retailers.

Local governments receive 70 cents of the E911 tax, and the state receives 25 cents The money supports the technology thai enables local 911 emergency services to pinpoint the geographic location of cellphone users who call for help.

The new law allows retailers to charge f cents to cover their cost of collecting the tax until July 1, 2018.

The 95-cent E911 tax and 5-cent sellei compensation will be collected on each prepaid wireless item purchased. The E911 tax is in addition to state and local retail sales taxes.

Copyright 2014 Deer Park Tribune, Deer Park, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 1, 2014

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