With each New Year, we make a list of resolutions, we change the batteries in the smoke detectors, and we make better use of our gym memberships.

Along with the resolutions, this year there are several new laws that are taking effect early in 2016.

  • On New Year’s Day, January 1, the minimum wage in Michigan increased to $8.50 per hour, up from $8.15 when the previous increase took effect in September 2014. Workers in professions that rely on tipping saw the minimum wage increase from $3.10 per hour to $3.23, with the law requiring that these workers make the minimum rate of $8.50 per hour with tips included. There are scheduled increases in place that will ultimately raise the minimum wage to $9.25 by January 1, 2018.
  • On January 5, motorists who are pulled over for a traffic stop will be allowed to use a smart phone or other electronic device to show proof of insurance to the attending officer. The bill was introduced by Senator Aric Nesbitt, saying “we need to move from the 1960’s paper world into the electronics world.” This move accompanies the shift in other areas of life to move from a paper-based to an electronic format and is a welcome change for many Michigan motorists.
  • There are two new laws taking effect on January 18 that will offer greater protections for the people of Michigan. There is now a law allowing veterans with service animals to bring them into restaurants and makes denial of entry or service to a veteran with a service animal a misdemeanor. This new law will exempt service animals from licensing fees and makes the assault of a service animal a crime.
  • The second law taking effect on January 18 changes the way agencies seize property. It is now a requirement that a judge must find “clear and convincing evidence” that the seized property is directly related to a crime and agencies that seize property must submit detailed reports to the state police annually.
  • On January 26, Michigan’s new ban on powdered alcohol takes effect. In March 2015, federal regulators approved the sale of these powders, but Michigan legislators had concerns for their safe use and instituted the ban on the sale, use, or possession of powdered alcohol in Michigan.

When new laws are implemented, there are often questions that arise. If you have questions about the interpretation or enforcement of these new laws, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney for information. The knowledgeable professionals at Collis and Griffor are available to assist you and answer any questions you may have. Call 734.827.1337 or contact us.

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