New Year Brings Eleven New Laws in Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Year Brings Eleven New Laws in Washington

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Eleven new laws go into effect January 1st, ranging from new sports team license plates to confidentiality rules. Eleven new laws go into effect January 1st, ranging from new sports team license plates to confidentiality rules.

NBCRightNow.com - Eleven new laws go into effect January 1st, ranging from new sports team license plates to confidentiality rules.

The new laws include:

The crime "Riot" will now be changed to "Criminal Mischief" and make it easier to charge people involved in those activities.

Businesses will now pay a $2 fee to request information at the DOL about a vehicle owner.

Confidentiality rules are clarified for tenant screening companies, which means victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking won't have their past shared with potential landlords.

Also confidentiality rules for county coroners were clarified. Now coroners and medical examiners are more protected and not liable for releasing information to certain groups.

"It's a good thing for the coroners simply because it gives us some protection we did not have before. It makes a better definition of the law so that we're not walking a fine line. So we have a better definition of what we can do," said John Hansens, Benton County Coroner.

The county coroner can release information to groups listed under the law including family members, law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys.

Other new laws:

• Simplify state tax laws for small commuter airlines.

• Raising the minimum wage

• Establish an adult family home quality assurance panel.

• Change the way electronic product recycling is paid for.

• Give some relief to small employers concerning unemployment insurance.

• Clarify who is eligible for certain state services.

• A measure to create special license plates for fans of the Seattle Sounders FC and the Seattle Seahawks.

Most of the laws passed by the legislature went into effect in July, but these remaining laws were saved for the new year.

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