PHOENIX — 2020 brings us a new year and a new decade, and it also means some new laws are about to go into effect here in Arizona.
First, let's talk money.
Starting on New Year's Day, the minimum wage in Arizona is going up to $12/hr. from $11/hr. in 2019.
This all goes back to a proposition passed in 2016, and it's the last scheduled wage hike under that law. Going forward, the state will adjust minimum wage based on the cost of living.
There are also some new rules at schools.
Starting next school year, teachers in 6th-12th grade statewide will be trained to spot signs of suicidal behavior in students. The idea is to prevent teen suicides, which data from America's Health Rankings shows is on the rise in Arizona.
Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill for training into law in 2019 after Corona Del Sol senior Mitch Warnock died by suicide in 2017. His parents pushing for change, to prevent others from experiencing pain like theirs.
"It's about a safety net that needed to be there a long time ago," Warnock's father said in an interview earlier this year.
2020 is expected to be a big year for recreational marijuana in Arizona, the topic likely to make it on the ballot in November. But first, the state is taking a closer look at medicinal pot.
Starting in 2020, dispensaries will have to start testing their product for contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. A third party lab will conduct the testing under rules from the state health department and patients and caregivers will have the right to ask for those results.
And speaking of ballots, Arizonans will be hitting the polls earlier in 2020. A new state law pushes the primary vote back to the first Tuesday in August and voter registration closes the first week of July.