New Laws Take Effect on New Year’s Eve

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As the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, laws passed by state legislatures around the country silently took effect at midnight. The fresh batch of new laws covered topics ranging from quirky to serious, addressing issues that dominate the American landscape. The new 2023 laws ranged from expanding voter access to regulating third-party food delivery services.

Federal law takes shape in Congress, where bills are created to change the laws of the United States and become public law when enacted by Congress. Each bill is introduced by a senator or representative, then assigned to a committee that researches and discusses the issue before it goes up for a vote. If the bill passes, it is sent to the other chamber of Congress, where the process starts again. The bill may end up with different versions in both houses, which then have to pass an identical version before the legislation can be enacted as a law.

A New York lawmaker is hoping to improve the lives of her constituents with a new bill. The law, known as Matthew’s Law, is intended to decrease the likelihood of accidental fentanyl overdoses by making drug testing resources more available. The legislation is named after Matthew Horan, who died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020.

Another new law to help citizens of the State of New York is a data breach notification law. The law would require City agencies to promptly disclose when private identifying information has been accessed or exposed. It would be required to do so to affected persons, to the City’s Chief Privacy Officer and to the Office of Cyber Command.

Other new laws include a provision to expand eligibility for victims of sexual misconduct to include non-sexual assaults, requiring police departments to record all gunshots fired during an active shooting incident and changing the minimum wage rate in New York City, Westchester and Long Island. More details on all the new laws that are taking effect can be viewed at New York’s online portal, which includes the current version of the New York Constitution, the laws passed by the State legislature and periodically codified in the New York Consolidated Laws. It is a searchable database that allows users to browse laws by topic, statute number or the name of the bill. Users can also find lawmaker bios and contact information. The online portal is accessible on desktop and mobile devices.