ALBANY – Several new state laws will go into effect this new year. Here’s a list of the top five.
Starting today, the state’s minimum wage will go up. Minimum wage employees should now make $11.10 an hour per new state rules. That number is up from $10.40.
Some small business owners said customers will pay the price. Advocates argue however the new wage will give New Yorkers a livable wage. The minimum wage will eventually go up to $15 per hour statewide.
Volunteer firefighters diagnosed with cancer will soon get disability benefits. The new law states only firefighters with certain cancers who are diagnosed after January 1s are eligible.
The New York State Department of Health will now review the safety of ultraviolet nail dryers in 2019. The dryers which are often used for gel manicures and pedicures will be looked at to see if there is a connection to skin cancer.
Changing tables will be required in both public woman’s and men’s restrooms starting Jan. 1s. Private businesses must have them in new or renovated restrooms as well.
Longer family leave will also go into effect in the New Year. Eligible employees can now take up to 10 weeks off for time to bond with a new child, care for a sick family member or hold loved ones when a relative is deployed on active military service.
A person can take time off at any point during the first 12 months of a child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement as well.
The number of weeks an employee can take off will also continue to rise through 2021. By that time people will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.
Heading into the new year legalizing recreational marijuana in New York State will also be a major topic.
Majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said that she believes something will be passed during the next legislative session. The State Legislature meets again Jan. 9.
One bill that will not become a law next year is the Toll Payer Protection Act. Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill Friday.
The measure would have established the “Toll Payers’ Bill of Rights”.
This would have provided that any person, firm, corporation, or other entity who is charged with the payment of a cashless toll fee in the state have the option to be notified by text message or electronic mail that the fee has been charged.
It would also have included Toll Payer know the entity to which such fee must be paid, and the date by when such fee must be paid.
The measure also would have provided for the establishment of a payment plan for the payment of a toll fee and any related penalties.