Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Minimum Wage and Other New Laws Ahead for 2013

Here’s a sampling of new laws, rules and other government changes that kick in with the new year.

As 2013 begins, so do some new laws, regulations and fee increases. Here’s a sampling of what to watch for.

If you’re a renter, homeowner or landlord: Carbon monoxide alarms are now required in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels and single-family homes, with some exceptions. Owner-occupied single-family homes, legally occupied before July 26, 2009, are not required to have the alarms until they are sold. (The law was passed in 2009, and portions of it have phased in over time.) 

If you’re a worker: The state minimum wage increases to $9.19 an hour, up from $9.04 an hour. (State law doesn’t let employers take a tip credit against the minimum wage.)

If you’re a Pierce County Ferry System rider: A variety of service changes start Jan. 1. The system provides service between the town of Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island.

If you’re unemployed: The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends Dec. 29. EUC is a federal extension that provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits after you have run out of “regular unemployment benefits.”

If you’re a fish (or care about them, or drive a vehicle): In 2010 Washington state passed a law reducing the use of toxic material in automotive brake pads and shoes. This law restricts the use of several heavy metals and asbestos, and provides for a phase-out of copper over the next 15-20 years. Starting Jan. 1, manufacturers have to report the concentrations of copper, nickel, zinc and antimony in brake friction materials.

If you’re a fish, part 2 (or an angler): Barbless hooks will be required to fish for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout in the mainstem Columbia River, including the north jetty, from Buoy 10 upstream to the Washington/Oregon border above McNary Dam.

Sources: Local, state and federal agency websites.

Ericka December 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Why is everyone in such a panic? Live your life and take care of your family. And if you're able to help and be generous to others outside your family.
AnaLise Maurins January 08, 2013 at 11:33 PM
@Ericka I agree. Sounds like a bunch of greedy conservatives doing what they do best, bitch about their money going to the greater good for those who arent doing as well as them. . . Cheesburgers will not go up to 20$ and as long as the business owners are smart and budget correctly they will not go out of business. These are the people who are only concerned with themselves and dont have a heart for others in need. . . And yes "employee" they do sound like a bunch of fox news parrots. People wonder why there is so much hate and crime, when most of you fools are the cause of it. Shit, I hate you greedy sons of bitches and I dont even know you. Accept the fact that you are not in control and no one really cares about your constant whining and complaining about people who are less fortunate. Stop polluting the world with your negativity and accept certain things that you can do nothing about.
Dr. Curt Oland January 09, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Ana I would to beg to differ with you on the minimum wage not being an issue. Unfortunately payroll is the easiest thing to control. All other fixed cost are harder to manipulate. So when payroll goes up the business owner needs to cut hours. And how high does minimum wage need to be? I for one have never paid my employees minimum wage, but since it has risen from 7+/hour to close to 10/hr since I opened my business it has had affect on my payroll. So it is cute to think business owners can budget better, but it isn't realistic.
employee January 09, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Dr. Oland, I would hope that a man like you would not pay the people you depend on for making your money, minimum wages. Although its attractive when considering your "bottom line", is not more important to make sure the folks that represent you and your business are happy, well paid and have a living wage? Seems like a lot of business people have forgotten the old adage that "employees are your greatest asset". Again, I say that if a business cannot provide its employees with a living wage, they have no business being in business. Please dont be a "parrot", treat your folks with respect and give them the dignity of a living wage.
Dr. Curt Oland January 09, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Employee, ironically according to the 2012 living wage study for Pierce county is $8.90 which is actually below minimum wage. A single parent it jumps to $19.91. I think you would be hard pressed to find a small business that can pay all of the employees that wage. So as you say a business that can't pay a living wage shouldn't be in business. But if a business paid that wage and adjusted the price of their services to compensate for the wage increase. Most people would shop elsewhere. I would encourage you to see both sides of the coin, and realize that most small business owners aren't paying low wages to line their pockets, but are just trying to survive. Ironically most people I know who complain about a living wage also shop at the cheapest places they can find. Support small business and they will support their community.


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