(WBNG) -- With the new year, comes new state laws. Dozens of new laws have gone into effect for 2018.
For the second year in a row, minimum wage is going up. New Yorkers will see the minimum wage go from $9.70 an hour to $10.40 an hour. Hourly wages for certain fast food workers will also see an increase from $11.75 an hour to $12.75 an hour. It's all part of making minimum wage $15 an hour statewide by 2021 which Governor Andrew Cuomo signed in 2017.
“By moving to a $15 statewide minimum wage and enacting the strongest paid family leave policy in the nation, New York is showing the way forward on economic justice,” said Governor Cuomo.
It is estimated that more than 2.3 million people will be affected by the increases.
The Middle Class Tax Cut that the Senate Republican Conference fought for in 2016 has also taken effect. In 2018, 4.4 million New Yorkers will benefit from the tax cut. When fully phased in, these tax cuts is expected to save New Yorkers $4.2 billion annually.
A new Paid Family Leave program will allow working New Yorkers to spend time with a sick family member or bond with a new child. The program will provide eight weeks of paid leave to new parents, those caring for a close relative with a serious health condition, and family members of someone who is called to active duty military service. By 2021, employees will get 12 weeks of paid leave. The program will be phased-in over the next four years.
There's also a change to the state constitution. A ballot proposal approved by New York voters in November amends the state Constitution, allowing judges to revoke or reduce pensions of public officials convicted of a felony. The law applies only to those officials convicted of crimes. Previously, the pension benefits of public employees convicted of felonies could not be revoked or reduced.
Additional changes being enacted in the new year include support for vulnerable runaway and homeless youth, renewable energy measures, and increased government transparency of economic development projects, among others.