New Laws in New York

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A law is an official rule or regulation that governs behavior within a society or country. It is created when members of a legislative body, such as Congress, debate and agree on a single idea which then becomes the official new rule.

In the State of New York, laws are made at several levels including constitutional, statutory, and regulatory. The State’s constitution, laws passed by the legislature and periodically codified in the New York Consolidated Laws, and decisions made by judges are examples of these types of laws.

Federal laws are created by Congress and are referred to as Public Laws, or Acts. A bill is a formal legislative proposal that is presented to either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Once a bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee where members research and discuss the bill, make changes, and then vote on it. If a bill passes both chambers of Congress, it is signed into law by the President and becomes a Public Law.

New legislation in the State of New York is addressing issues such as the minimum wage, data breach notification, and tenant rights. For example, starting in 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $16 an hour in New York City and Westchester, and $15 per hour across the rest of the state. Another law that went into effect this year aims to help victims of crime by making it easier to apply for victim compensation funds.

A third piece of legislation in the State of New York will increase transparency in data breaches. Under the law, any City agency that experiences a data breach that discloses private identifying information must notify affected individuals, as well as New York’s chief privacy officer and Office of Cyber Command.

Another new law that went into effect this year is named Matthew’s Law, which aims to decrease the chance of drug overdoses. This law allows local pharmacies and health care providers to offer free fentanyl and other drug adulterant testing kits to patients and community members. The law also reduces penalties and adds opportunities to cure for certain violations.