The New Year is a time for resolutions, changes and everything new. Here are some new laws taking effect in 2017.
Minimum wage increase. The minimum wage in upstate jumped up from $9/hour to $9.70/hour New Year's Eve. This is part of the gradual minimum wage increase plan which will reach all the way up to $12.50 by the end of 2020.
Becoming an organ donor at 16. Teens aged 16 and 17 applying for a learner's permit can become an organ donor. Choosing to be an organ donor used to be reserved for those 18 and older, limiting the amount of people in the donate life registry.
A local kidney transplant recipient, Barbara Breckenridge, is representing Western New York in the 2017 Rose Bowl Parade on Monday. She will be joined by Unyts, one of almost 50 organizations across the nation supporting the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Unyts is dedicated to increasing organ, eye and tissue donations.
Tinted windows. State auto body shops are now required to measure window tints before approving them on vehicles. Governor Cuomo signed a law in November requiring auto body shops to see if the tinted windows let at least 70 percent of light into the vehicle to pass inspection.
Food in funeral homes. Beginning January 17, funeral homes will be allowed to serve light meals - such as sandwiches, snacks, baked goods and food platters - and non-alcoholic beverages.