How The 20 Major Laws Passed In New York State This Year Affect You
We're a little over halfway through 2019 and 20 new laws have already been passed in New York State.
The Democrat and Chronicle reports that the 2019 legislative session in New York State has passed 20 major laws. The government is now Democrat led in New York, for the first time since 2010. The bills passed cover a vast range of topics, like abortion, gun control, and rent. Here are the 20 laws passed this year and what they mean for you, according to the Democrat and Chronicle:
1. Reproductive Health Act
This new law put Roe v. Wade rights into New York State Law. It has been called a protection of a woman's right to choose.
2. Rent-Stabilization Program
We had reported on this new law earlier this month. It affects security deposits and eviction laws. This has been touted as a protection for renters.
3. Marijuana Decriminalized
New York State made multiple efforts to legalize recreational marijuana but ultimately failed. However, marijuana possession violations have been reduced.
4. Voting Reform
The major change is that every county in New York State will be required to open some polling places early to allow early voting.
5. Sexual Harassment and Rape Law Reform
The anti-harassment laws in New York State have now been expanded to protect victims, and removed a measure that protected employers unless the conduct was "severe or pervasive".
6. Equal Pay for Equal Work
All employers must pay their workers equally for "substantially similar work", regardless of sex or gender. Employers are also not allowed to ask for salary history when setting a pay rate for a potential employee.
7. Child Victims Act
The statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children has been eased and will allow a one-year window to revive past claims of any age.
9. Undocumented Immigrants Allowed To Get Driver's Licenses
Undocumented immigrants in New York State are now able to apply for a drivers license by using a passport, or other valid foreign documents.
10. Gun Control Reform
Police, family members, and school officials will be able to seek a court order to remove guns from a person deemed harmful to themselves or others. Teachers are also not allowed to carry guns in school.
11. Tax Cap on Property
The property tax cap that was set to expire in 202, that limited the annual increase, to 2% or lesser than the rate of inflation, has been permanently extended.
12. DREAM Act
Immigrants that were brought into the U.S. illegally as children are now able to apply for college tuition aid from New York State if they attended high school in New York. Assistance programs include TAP and Excelsior Scholarship.
13. End of Cash Bail
Cash bail has been ended for most crimes.
14. Gravity Knives Are Legal
You can now carry folding knives, also known as gravity knives, and they have been removed from the dangerous weapon category in New York State.
15. Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
Touted as one of the most ambitious climate change acts in the U.S., New York State is required to cut 85% of its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
16. LGBTQ Rights Expanded, GENDA
The 'gay panic' defense has been ended in New York. This allowed defendants to claim that an attack on a person was because of being surprised by a person's gender or sexual orientation. GENDA adds gender identity to New York's anti-discrimination law.
17. Closing of LLC Loophole
LLC donations and contributions are now limited to $5,000 and will have to better disclose who is funding them.
18. Electronic Scooters
While this isn't set in stone as Governor Andrew Cuomo has not signed it into law over safety concerns, legislators in New York voted to allow electronic scooters (e-scooters) and pedal assist bikes in New York.
19. Cat-Declawing Banned
The act of having cats declawed has been outlawed. This, too, is waiting to be signed by Governor Cuomo.
20. Student Test Scores Don't Affect Teacher Evaluations
A teacher's evaluation cannot be made with consideration of students' standardized test scores.