Thomas J. Story

2015 is officially in full swing! And while most people are busy using the first weeks of the New Year for inner self-refection and resol…

Jane Wolkowicz  – January 22, 2015 | Updated February 27, 2019

2015 is officially in full swing! And while most people are busy using the first weeks of the New Year for inner self-refection and resolution, I thought it would also be appropriate to look outward and reflect on some other changes in the world that took place the second the clock struck midnight on January 1—meaning new state laws that went into effect at the start of the year.

Here are some of the more interesting developments from around the region:

  • Wine enthusiasts in California, it’s your year. Now it’s easier for state-licensed winegrowers to hold “instructional” tastings at retail locations, such as Farmers Markets and grocery stores. And under the classy “sip and spit” law, college students under the age of 21 are allowed to taste beer or wine for class purposes—but not swallow it.
  • Also in California, the future feels a little clearer—at least for kids enrolled in private at-home daycare. That’s because it’s now illegal to smoke in homes used for daycare, even when the kids aren’t there.
  • California pet owners will be pleased to know that under state law, dogs are permitted to eat with their owners on certain restaurant patios. (Westphoria will have more coverage of this a few days).
  • Washington, Arizona, Hawaii and Colorado all raised their minimum wage. Washington State now has the highest wage in the country. ($9.75/hour!) Alaska employees will see a wage hike later this year.

What’s new in your neck of the woods? Leave us a note and let us know!