Here are four new Washington laws taking effect in 2020

New car seat laws coming to Washington state in 2020
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Items linked to traumatic brain injuries might be closer than you think.

As you get ready to ring in the new year, there are a few new laws coming to Washington state you should be aware of.

These are four laws going into effect at the turn of the decade.

1. Washington’s car seat laws are changing.

Starting in January, the following rules will be enforced:

Children up to age two must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with harness (rear or forward-facing)
Children 4 years and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall.
Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical.

READ: New car seat laws coming to Washington state in 2020

2. The smoking age will raise to 21

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law in April that raised Washington’s smoking age to 21.

The law takes effect January 1, making Washington one of seven states and nearly 400 cities and counties that have already raised the age.

The bill not only raises the age to purchase tobacco, but also to purchase e-cigarettes and other vaping products.

READ: Inslee signs bill raising WA smoking age to 21

3. Family leave

In 2020, families in Washington will be able to take up to 18 weeks of paid leave.

It’s not just new parents that will benefit from this change. Anyone with a family medical crisis can get paid time off.

Families can still earn up to 90% of their typical pay through the Paid Family and Medical Leave program. The less you make, the more of your income you can get back. People can get minimum of $100 a week and up to a maximum of $1,000 a week.

READ: Families can soon get up to 18 weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave

4. Minimum wage increases

Beginning January 1, the minimum wage in Washington state will increase from $12 to $13.50 an hour.

In 2016, Washington voters approved Initiative 1433, which required the statewide minimum wage in 2017 to raise from $11 to $11.50 in 2018, to $12 in 2019, and to $13.50 in 2020.

After that, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries will adjust the minimum wage based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

Learn more about the increase on the Washington State Department of L&I website.