Photo Courtesy of TWU Local 100
Addabbo informed his constituents this week about new State laws set to go into effect this year.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The dawn of a new year means new laws on the books. State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) on Monday detailed a few pieces of legislation that he’s looking forward to in 2019.
The state minimum wage increase took effect on Monday, Dec. 31. For workers in New York City employed by large businesses (those with at least 11 employees), the minimum wage rose to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on Dec. 31, 2018. For workers in NYC employed by small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage rose to $10.50 at the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $13.50 on Dec. 31, 2018, and rising to $15 on Dec. 31, 2019.
Addabbo co-sponsored the State Drug Take Back Act, which goes into effect this year. He pointed out that the new measure will enable consumers to more safely and conveniently dispose of expired, unused, or unwanted medications through on-site pharmacy collections, prepaid mail-back envelopes, and other means—all subsidized by drug manufacturers.
“This new law will aid consumers, help reduce access to dangerous opioids left sitting in family medicine cabinets, and protect our environment from contamination with pharmaceuticals,” the senator said.
Addabbo also co-sponsored legislation that will take effect in 2019 to provide new health care and death benefits to volunteer firefighters diagnosed with a variety of cancers.
The senator also noted that the State’s new paid family leave program expands this year to provide workers with 10 weeks of paid time off—instead of eight—to bond with a new child or care for seriously ill family members. Employees participating in the program will now receive 55 percent of their wages while on leave, instead of the 50 percent offered in 2018.
Additional new laws include one that requires that all new and renovated buildings with public bathrooms be equipped with diaper changing tables in both women’s and men’s restrooms.
“The new year is looking brighter for our environment and workers, those who need to deal with family issues without bankrupting themselves and improved wages. As a strong supporter of these initiatives, I am delighted they are now in effect,”Addabbo added. “As we begin the 2019 New York State Legislative Session on Jan. 9, I look forward to building on these accomplishments and addressing many other important issues affecting my constituents and New Yorkers statewide.”