NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The revelry of ringing in the new year comes with a host of new laws taking effect in the Tri-State Area, including some that mean more money in your pocket and some that don’t.
Fore hundreds of thousands of people in New York and New Jersey, the new year is not only a time to raise the roof, it’s a time to get a pay raise.
The minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour in New York City, $13 an hour in the suburbs and $11.80 upstate, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported. In New Jersey, it goes to $11 an hour, up from $8.60 in 2018.
Connecticut is expanding its sales tax to include dry cleaning and laundry services and, yes, you will pay the sales tax to park your car at some metered and previously exempt spaces.
Connecticut will also allow drivers to renew their licenses every eight years and force insurance companies to expand coverage for mental health and substance abuse.
New Jersey voters will get to decide whether to legalize marijuana this year. A ballot referendum will ask voters whether to approve letting those 21 and older use marijuana. It would also subject marijuana to the state’s sales tax and let towns tax the product as well.
New York will allow farm workers to unionize and allow adoptees to get a copy of their original birth certificates.
One of the most controversial new measures is New York’s criminal justice reform, which eliminates cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors and so-called “non-violent felonies.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it will ensure 90% of defendants who have not been convicted will not wait in jail for their day in court. Hundreds of offenses such as stalking, grand larceny, assault as a hate crime, and second-degree manslaughter, will no longer be eligible for bail or pretrial detention.
“They eliminated bail, but they never put in the safeguard that we need of allowing a judge to assess dangerousness and the result is we’ve got some glaring loopholes,” CBS2 urbans affairs expert Mark Peters said.
There will be a lot of pressure to close some of the loopholes in the law when the Legislature returns to Albany next week. It will also be asked to fine tune a measure to use public money to fund political campaigns for the Assembly, Senate and statewide offices.