NEW YORK — The fight for $15 has finally become a reality. The minimum wage rose to $15 an hour for workers in the city starting Monday.
The latest increase applies to New York City companies with more than 10 employees. For companies with fewer employees the minimum wage will be $13.50. On Long Island and in Westchester, that number jumps from $11 to $12 an hour.
"I think it needs to happen," said Joe Intervallo of Bay Ridge. "People need to make a living. How much money do these corporations need to make?"
But that's not the only new law New Yorkers need to know about for 2019.
Another new law going on the books in 2019 is that pharmacies will no longer be able to sell cigarettes.
"I think America was kind of already going in that direction away from cigarettes, so I think it makes sense not to be selling it in pharmacies," said Ian Fungquee.
Other legal changes include:
- A ban on single use styrofoam
- Paid family leave increasing from 8 to 10 weeks
- Required baby changing stations in all new bathrooms for men and women
- A pill return requirement for unused prescription drugs
- An increase in property tax rebates for New York home owners
"I think that's an excellent idea. I live right here in Bay Ridge and my property taxes are outrageous," said Intervallo. "Compared to other neighborhoods that are more expensive to live in, their taxes are lower, for some reason my taxes are through the roof."
Overall New Yorkers we spoke to say the laws are a step in the right direction for the state in 2019.
"There's hope, yeah, definitely," said Fungquee.