2014: New Year, New Laws Taking Effect in Florida

Florida has added over 200 new laws to their books in the last several months.  While some had gone into effect in the latter part of 2013, some will begin with the New Year in 2014.  Naples News reported on a number of the new laws, and the topics they cover range from sex trafficking to the state of Florida’s foster care program.  Notably, also included is an increase in the amount of Florida’s minimum wage from $7.79 per hour to $7.93, which is higher than the federal minimum wage at $7.25.

Some of the new laws taking effect in 2014 include:

  • Victims of human-trafficking can get criminal records expunged for crimes committed while they were being threatened, forced, or coerced. Typically the relevant charges would include prostitution. This measure accompanied a previous bill which made it illegal for certain massage businesses to operate between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.
  • Natural gas will not be included in the state fuel tax for the next five years, and companies will have an incentive to obtain more natural gas vehicles. Beginning in 2019, natural tax will be taxed in a manner similar to that for diesel fuel. Consumers will be offered a 50 percent rebate in the cost of converting certain identified vehicles to natural gas as per the Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate Program. According to the program’s terms, an applicant can get a rebate of up to $25,000 per vehicle, and a maximum of $250,000 per year.
  • Now, young adults will have the option of remaining in foster care until they reach 21 years of age, provided they meet certain conditions past age 18. The conditions that they would have to meet include: if they are completing their education in high school, post-secondary school, or a vocational education; if they are participating in job training programs; if they are employed at a job where they are working a minimum of 80 hours per month; if or they are unable to participate in the previously listed conditions due to a disability.
  • The rules for limited liability companies in Florida have been revamped in a new law consisting of over 200 pages. The new rules are intended to bring Florida’s old regulations governing limited liability companies up to date, and to maintain Florida’s position with their competition in attracting businesses and adding jobs to the state’s economy.

These are just a small sampling of the laws that will take effect in the state of Florida in 2014. While not all of the changes may have a direct effect on you, many of them may influence you in the future, or affect your life in ways in which you are unfamiliar.

It is an attorney’s job to keep informed about the changes in the law and to be prepared to analyze a client’s situation in light of those changes. The attorneys at Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., have experience in many areas of law, and can advise you of your rights in the context of your legal issue. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.