NORFOLK, Va. - Several new laws will take effect in Virginia on Jan 1., including one increasing the minimum wage to $11 per hour.
The increase is the second in Virginia this year, as last May, the minimum wage increased to $9.50.
Samira Brooks has been a home healthcare workers on the Eastern Shore for years. She has a second job that pays more than minimum wage, but when she's working at people's homes, she'll benefit from the minimum wage increase.
"Of course we can be happy to be given something. I believe it is something we've earned. It's definitely something that should've been given to us a long time ago," Brooks said.
State lawmakers have approved gradually raising Virginia's minimum wage, but further action will be needed to raise it to $15. Brooks thinks the state should move faster.
"I don't understand why it's such a long haul," she said.
In addition, the minimum coverage for auto insurance is also increasing on Jan. 1 from $25,000 to $30,000 for the injury or death of a person.
Virginia hasn't changed these requirements since 1975, according to Northern Virginia Sen. Scott Surovell, who helped champion the law.
"I advise Virginians to not be scared," said Kristel Hoes, an insurance agent with AAA. "This is a perfect opportunity to call your insurance agents or sit down with your agents to review what you currently have."