New York Law Changes in the New Year

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The New Year brought major changes to law across the state and region. Among them: the minimum wage increased to $16 per hour in NYC, Westchester and Long Island; and schools and employers will now have to provide open captioning at movie theaters. Also this year, the City will launch a public awareness campaign about its new laws that make it easier for crime victims to apply for compensation and take advantage of other resources, including mental health treatment and job training.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation aimed at combatting the opioid and heroin epidemic, which included “Matthew’s Law,” which will allow local pharmacies to dispense fentanyl overdose antidote kits to people who request them. She also expanded the eligibility for crime victim compensation to include survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition, she approved legislation that will make it easier for families of murder victims to access their loved ones’ pensions.

Legislation that will require all City agencies to give employees and job applicants notice of federal and state student loan forgiveness programs was also passed. And a bill that requires DCWP to prepare and implement an outreach and education program regarding the new minimum wage laws was approved.

A bill is formally introduced in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, where it will be assigned to a committee that will research, discuss and make changes to the proposal before it goes back to its sponsoring chamber for a vote. If a bill passes both houses of Congress, it becomes a public law known as an Act and is then signed by the President.

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