What are the New Laws Taking Effect in New York State in 2024
What is the New Laws in New York Take Effect in 2024

New York is introducing a series of legislative changes that will have a substantial effect on residents throughout the state.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed 730 bills into law in 2024, with 87 more awaiting her review. New legislation will affect residents across the state on a variety of issues including worker rights, health, and school resources.

Here are 19 significant new laws that were implemented in New York in 2024:

1. Increase in Minimum Wage

The state-wide increase in the minimum wage is one of the notable changes. The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour on January 1, 2024; workers in Westchester, Long Island, and New York City will receive a higher minimum wage of $16 per hour. The purpose of this modification is to alleviate economic inequality and enhance employees' financial security.

Governor Hochul declared that the New York State Department of Labor will begin a public awareness campaign to notify the people of New York about the upcoming change.

If minimum wage workers do not see the increase in their paychecks in the upcoming year, they are urged to contact the Department of Labor by phone at (833) 910-4378 or through the Department of Labor's website to file a wage complaint.

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2. “Freelance isn’t Free” Act (S.5026/A.6040)

With the passage of the "Freelance isn't Free" Act, freelance workers will have more protections. This law guarantees prompt and complete payment for services costing at least $800 and requires the use of written contracts.

Written contracts must be used, workers must be paid promptly and fully for their services, and they must be protected from discrimination and retaliation by their employers. The Department of Labor will offer sample contracts that comply with the new law to employers and independent contractors.

3. Asian Lunar School Year as a School Holiday (A.7768/S.7573)

An amendment to the education law makes Lunar New Year a mandatory public school holiday in New York, acknowledging the holiday's cultural significance. This choice demonstrates how crucial it is to respect cultural diversity and customs.

Two new school holidays will be formally added to New York's academic calendar.

Public schools throughout the state will be closed on Lunar New Year's Day beginning in 2019 as part of Governor Hochul's ongoing efforts to uphold and defend the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Diwali will also be observed as a school holiday in New York City. Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month according to the Indian calendar, public schools will be closed.

4. Raises the Age to Drive ATVs (S2702/A150)

An amendment to the vehicle and traffic law raised the minimum age to operate an ATV from ten to fourteen years old. The law also restricts the areas on which minors under the age of sixteen may operate ATVs, allowing them to only do so under supervision and on property owned by their parents or guardians.

5. Doula Care for Medicaid Patients (S1867/A5434)

This bill, which is a significant addition to public health law, requires the Department of Health to establish the New York State Community Doula Directory on its website. The objective is to support Medicaid recipients by offering Medicaid reimbursement and by promoting doula services.

6. Ban on Slaughter of Equines for Food (S2163/A5109)

The slaughter of horses meant for human or animal consumption is forbidden by this law. All members of the equine family—horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and burros—are covered by the law. There are specified penalties for breaking this ban.

7. Prohibition of Access to Personal Accounts (S2518/A836)

A labor law amendment prohibits employers from asking or mandating that candidates or workers divulge their usernames, passwords, or any other login information to personal accounts in exchange for a job offer.

Additionally, the law guarantees that the employer cannot use such information as grounds for disciplinary action.

8. Restriction on Utilities’ Ability to Backbill (S4234/A4055)

Utilities are no longer able to backbill after neglecting to send bills for longer than two months, according to a public service law amendment. In addition, utilities are required by law to include with each bill the customer's records from the previous two years at that address.

9. Protections for New York Tenants

Tenants are also to be shielded from water and security concerns by new laws.

According to Assembly Bill A7273, the NYCHA must give residents written notice—within 24 hours—about whether their water is safe to drink or cook with. Additionally, it guarantees that contractors hired to analyze water quality samples adhere to all applicable local, state, and federal laws.

In a similar vein, a different assembly bill forbids the installation of keyless entry systems without the express written consent of the building and all pertinent parties in order to grant access to common areas. According to a recent legal amendment, building owners must guarantee that tenants won't have any changes made to their rent or access to the building, and they must give them 30 days' notice of any approved installation.

10. Expanded Support for Victims and Survivors of Crime

In the upcoming year, New York will be extending the eligibility for crime victims and survivors to apply for victim compensation funds.

The new law does away with the need for victims and survivors to notify law enforcement of the crime and provide supporting documentation in order to be qualified. Victims will be able to offer other types of evidence to prove that a crime has occurred in situations where proof of the crime is requested.

11. Combating the Opioid Epidemic

The public will have easier access to resources for drug testing under "Matthew's Law."

The law's provision of fentanyl and other drug adulterant testing supplies to neighborhood pharmacies and healthcare providers helps to reduce the likelihood of unintentional drug overdoses. The life-saving measure bears Matthew Horan's name, who passed away in 2020 from an unintentional fentanyl overdose.

"Families across our State have felt the immense tragedy of the opioid and overdose epidemic - it is a pain no one should ever have to endure," the governor said of the legislation.

Pharmacies and other community health care providers have struggled for far too long to offer the tools that have been shown to stop overdose deaths. We are striving to guarantee that every New Yorker has access to life-saving testing kits through this legislation and our historic investments in testing expansion."

12. Protecting College Students and Making Campus Crime Statistics Accessible

In the upcoming year, New York will keep enhancing its efforts to protect college students from hate crimes and bias-related crimes.

Campus crime statistics must be published and made available on the college website in accordance with Senate Bill S2060A. Along with adopting new procedures for looking into and reporting hate crimes, schools will also need to teach incoming students about crime prevention strategies on campus.

13. Free Menstrual Products in School

Senate Bill S5913A provides free menstrual products to middle and high school students attending non-public schools starting in the 2019–20 school year.

The law uses the term "menstrual products and pads," rather than "feminine hygiene products" or "sanitary napkins," in an effort to promote more gender-inclusive language. It is modeled after a similar bill.

The two bills are a part of Governor Hochul's initiative to improve New Yorkers' health equity.

14. Lowering the Minimum Age for Lifeguards

A new law will permit people to work as lifeguards at beaches, swimming pools, and children's camps as young as 15 years old, provided they are properly supervised.

The camp aquatics director is responsible for overseeing lifeguards at children's overnight, summer day, and traveling summer day camps.

Visit the NY Office of the Governor's Pressroom and the New York State Senate's Bills and Laws pages for additional information about the new legislation.

15. Skimming notices for EBT cards in stores

The law, which Governor Hochul signed on December 21, mandates that establishments that take electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards display a notice at the point of sale alerting customers about the possibility of skimming.

16. Employers and employees social media accounts

According to this law, an employer cannot demand that a worker or job applicant provide their user name, password, or other login information in order to access their social media accounts.

17. Encourages student voter registration and pre-registration

According to this law, school boards of education, BOCES, charter schools, and non-public schools must promote student voter registration and pre-registration. Throughout the academic year, this entails making voter registration and pre-registration forms available and assisting students with application completion.

18. Religious dietary food options in prisons

This law mandates that commissaries in New York State prisons provide inmates with halal, kosher, and other religious food options. Additionally, there should be vending machines in the visitor area selling these options.

How Many Prisons/Prisoners Are There In New York? Full List Of Prisons How Many Prisons/Prisoners Are There In New York? Full List Of Prisons

19. Victims and survivors of crime compensation funds

The law increases the number of individuals who can receive victim compensation payments if they are crime victims or survivors. This entails doing away with the mandated law enforcement reporting requirement, offering substitute forms of proof, and protecting the privacy of specific records.

In Conclusion

These legislative changes reflect a commitment to addressing diverse issues and improving the lives of New Yorkers.

We recommend that you read the new laws above if they directly affect your work, life or your loved ones.

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