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Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Senator Joseph Addaboo was involved with several new laws effecting New Yorkers in 2018.

The new year brought with it several new laws that aim to help Queens workers keep more money in their pockets.

January marks the first phase of a tax reduction program that will reduce personal income taxes for middle-income workers, the minimum wage will get a few dollars higher and those who need time to care for a newborn baby or a seriously ill relative will now get more paid time off.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, who has long championed the cause of helping families that need paid time off, said that he is pleased to see his efforts making a difference.

“I am glad my colleagues and I took steps on the state level to help people keep a little more money in their pockets and balance important work and family responsibilities,” Addabbo said. “We may have a tough economic year coming up, but I will continue to push for policies that help New Yorkers manage their personal finances and care for their loved ones.”

The new Paid Family Leave (PFL) program will now allow workers to take eight weeks of paid leave from their jobs at 50 percent of their weekly wages. Funded through small employee payroll deductions, the PFL program will grow to provide 12 weeks of job-protected paid leave at 67 percent of a workers weekly wages when it is fully phased in by 2021.

The start of 2018 also marks another step toward higher pay. The state minimum wage increased from $11 to $13 per hour for New York City workers at companies with 10 or more employees. Those who work at small businesses with less than 10 employees saw their minimum rate increase from $10.50 to $12 per hour. By 2019, the minimum wage for all New York City workers will be $15 per hour.

Middle-income workers will be even more relieved as the “Middle Class Tax Reduction Program” enacted as part of the 2016-17 State Budget begins. The program will gradually reduce personal income tax for New Yorkers earning less than $300,000 until 2025.

By the time the program is fully in play, personal income taxes will be cut statewide by $4.2 billion a year. In the end, tax rates will fall to 5.5 percent for workers making less than $150,000 and to six percent for those making up to $300,000.

“As the 2018 NYS legislative session kicks off this week, I look forward to continuing to serve my constituents in the state Senate and working to support their interests throughout upcoming state budget negotiations and discussions on other vital public policy issues,” said Addabbo. “I hope local residents will contact me to express their thoughts and concerns about state actions in the days, weeks and months to come.”

Addabbo also co-sponsored two other laws taking effect in 2018: One provides additional paid leave for certain employees who served in combat and need health-related services, and the other authorizes Commissioners of Education and Agriculture to establish voluntary guidelines for the donation of unused food from educational institutions’ meal programs to food assistance programs.


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