NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the new year, New York City residents now have a new option for denoting gender on their birth certificates.

The law allows the choice of “X.”

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Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the plan, which allows people, including transgender residents, to change their birth certificates to “X” by attesting that it reflects their true gender identity.

Parents also can choose “X” for newborns.

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A similar provision takes effect in New Jersey in February.

Other new laws taking effect in the Garden State include:

* A smoking ban at public beach throughout the state.

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* A state mandate for health insurance. It requires residents to have insurance or face a fine.

* A new gun law allows courts to take away firearms from people who pose a danger.

In Connecticut, 17 new laws take effect Tuesday.

One measure prohibits employers from asking about an employee’s wages and salary history. It’s part of the pay equity bill, an effort to help women receive equal pay for equal work.

In addition, a new women’s health initiative gives access to contraceptives with no out-of-pocket costs.

And new health insurance benefit protections take effect.

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Most policies in Connecticut are now required to cover a range of essential services, from maternity and newborn care to mental health and chronic disease management.