New Arizona Laws as of January 2021

As of Jan. 1, 2021, Arizona seems to have taken on a new year’s resolution of its own with some of these new laws. One of the biggest new laws is that now you can be fined for using your phone while driving state-wide.


Andy Blackledge

Even though it feels like 2021 just started, there are several new laws which have gone into effect this year.

Noah Thompson, Columnist

According to 12 News, one of the biggest new laws is that it is now illegal to even touch your phone while driving. However, if you are at a stop light or are in an emergency situation, you are allowed to use your phone. This was in reaction to the death of an officer that was run over by someone who was driving while using their phone. You can be fined $75-149 for a first offense and then up to $250 for all subsequent offences. This is a law we have all been expecting for some time and in the final weeks and months of 2020, officers were warning drivers that next time they are caught using their phone while driving, they will be fined. says that the governor vetoed a larger distracted driving law that would put a fine on things like eating and putting on your makeup while driving. Many Arizonans would not have been happy that they could not eat their egg McMuffin and put on their blush on their morning drive to work.

The next new law that was passed is somewhat small but still impactful. Patch states that the minimum wage in Arizona has gone up by 15 cents from $12 per hour to $12.15 dollars per hour. This is the second minimum wage increase since the start of 2020. While it may seem like a small change, there is a nation-wide debate about increasing the minimum wage. Some people say that increasing the minimum wage hurts small businesses who are already suffering due to COVID-19. On the other hand, some of the larger corporations could afford to fork over the extra 15 cents per hour for the minimum wage employees.

According to Patch, another important law that was passed is more funding for schools, and therefore slightly higher taxes. While this won’t go into effect until 2022, it was voted into law as Proposition 208 on Nov. 3. One important thing to note about this new law is that it will only tax those who make more $250,000, which includes a fair chunk of Arizonans but still excludes raising taxes on the mid-middle, lower middle, and lower classes according to BallotPedia. However, if two people are married and file jointly, then the income between the two of them has to be in excess of $500,000 for this extra tax to be applied. To fund this bill, the income taxes paid by those who make more than $250,000 a year will have 3.5% slapped on in addition to the current Arizona income tax that varies depending on income.

Out of over 300 new bills that went into effect this year, these are some of the most important that will affect the day-to-day lives of Arizonans.