A new year brings some new laws in the state of Florida. The changes range from wage increases to streamlining how divorced parents agree to time-sharing arrangements for children.

The state joins 17 others in a minimum wage hike. Non-tipped employees will receive $8.25 and hour while tipped employees will see an increase to $5.23.

Child custody laws changed too. Now if two parents cannot agree on a time-sharing agreement the court can decide for them.

“As often as it is, the case during divorce or child custody cases, parents aren’t reasonable. They can’t come to an agreement so this also allows the department of revenue to put together a plan for the department of revenue to bring to the circuit court,” said local criminal defense attorney Al Sauline. 

Elderly people or those with transportation issues may benefit from a new law regarding prescription pick ups.

“At least once a year your local HMO or health insurance provider is required to give you this option of coordinating one day a month where you can go pick up all your prescriptions,” said Sauline. 

Laws involving crime also changed. Now law enforcement is allowed to review his or her body camera footage while filing police reports in an effort to make investigations more accurate.

Also murder witnesses will receive more protection. Their identities and personal information will no longer be public record. 

“Perhaps friends of the accused might have bad wishes on witnesses, now they won’t have easy access to personal identifiable information,” said Sauline. 

Ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft will now need to comply with the same state laws as taxi companies.

Therapy dogs will be allowed in the courtroom to help comfort child victims.