2020 brings new laws to New York state

WNYT Staff
Updated: January 01, 2020 02:21 PM
Created: January 01, 2020 02:21 PM

New York lawmakers don't head back to the Capitol until next week, but Jan. 1 is the day a lot of what they voted for last year goes into effect.

For New Yorkers currently making minimum wage, 2020 means a bigger paycheck.

Minimum wage for most of the state jumps from $11.10 to $11.80 an hour.

People who work in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties jump up to $13 an hour. Minimum wage in New York City is now $15.

The year 2020 brings with it some big changes in how suspected criminals are treated.

New bail laws mean most people charged with a misdemeanor don't have to post bail and can't be held in jail before their trial.

The same goes for non-violent felony charges and people charged with felony second-degree robbery or burglary.

Many law enforcement agencies have spoken out against the changes, citing risks to public safety.

Just this week, 41-year-old Christopher Seaman was arrested and charged with robbing the Pioneer Bank in Colonie.

Under the new laws, he was released even though he had previously been convicted for two other robberies.

New York is making it a little easier for teenage voters to cast their first ballot.

Teens that are at least 16 years old can now pre-register to vote and the Board of Elections will automatically register them when their 18th birthday rolls around.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of youth voters declined by 11 percent between 1972 and 2016.

Historically, more young women than young men cast their votes at earlier ages.

Hopefully this new law will help strengthen numbers across the board.

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