New Year, New Laws in Arizona.From texting while driving to an increase in the minimum wage, here’s what you need to know about three new laws for 2021:
- Recreational Marijuana Allowed
- Minimum Wage Up
- Proposition 208 – Not Yet
Starting immediately on January 1, law enforcement officers throughout Arizona will be vigorously enforcing laws to combat distracted driving. While a few Arizona cities already have similar laws, the state legislature passed a state-wide prohibition after the death of Officer Clayton Townsend, who was killed during a traffic stop by a distracted driver.https://www.azlegal.com/arizona-has-new-laws-2021-what-is-new/?preview=true
Drivers may now legally access and use their phones only if they are in hands-free mode. Exceptions allow drivers to access their devices at stoplights and calling 9-1-1 during an emergency. Drivers will also be allowed to stop and start a call and use their phone’s GPS function to navigate.
Yes, there will be fines. For the first violation the fines are $75 to $149 and repeat offenders face fines of $150 to $250.
Because Proposition 207 passed last November, those who are at least 18 years of age will now be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana without facing criminal charges. The Arizona Department of Health Services must develop rules and licensing for recreational marijuana outlets. That process begins this year.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal. Employers may also prohibit the use of marijuana on the job.
Due to a 1.3% increase in Arizona’s cost of living in 2020, the state’s minimum wage will increase by 15 cents an hour beginning in January 2021, increasing the total to $12.15 an hour. The last increase took effect on January 1, 2020, which brought it up to $12.
Federal and state employees and employees of small businesses with an annual revenue below $500,000 are exempt from the new law. Restaurant servers and other employees paid in tips may be paid up to $3 less an hour than the minimum wage, but only if their tip income makes up the difference.
Proposition 208, which also passed last November and requires a tax increase for higher income earners to support Arizona schools, is slated to go into effect in 2022, assuming it survives court challenges.
Call Kevin Chapman or his team at (480) 833-1113.
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