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New laws in Florida take effect today
Several new laws took effect in Florida today. They affect everything from human trafficking to early voting, foster care, and more.
Voters in Florida will get to pick a new governor this year, and when they do, they'll get more time to cast their ballots. A new law allows supervisors of elections to expand the early voting period. It requires at least eight days of early voting, but gives supervisors the flexibility to hold up to 14 days. Florida was criticized nationally for long lines and counting delays during the 2012 presidential election.
Giving children raised in Foster care a better start for life as an adult - that's the goal of a law that allows young adults to stay in the program until they're 21 years-old. Supporters say the law will help Foster children get the education and training they need.
"It's hard when you're thrown out with just a bag of clothes and say, 'Good luck, be successful'," said Victoria Jackson, a former Foster child, "But this bill helps us say, 'Hey, we have your back.'"
Human trafficking victims can now get their criminal records cleared, typically for prostitution charges. The new law applies only to crimes committed while the victims were being forced, threatened or coerced.
In addition to the new laws, minimum wage workers are getting an automatic pay increase. Their wages are going up by 14 cents an hour.