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Are you ready for new laws in the New Year?

New laws: Ban on cash bail & plastic bags
Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 31, 2019

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Get ready for some new laws as we ring in 2020. From cash bail changes to new boating safety rules and a ban on plastic bags. The new state laws will be going into effect throughout the New Year.

We have a few highlights of some of the new laws that could have an impact on your life.

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One of the most controversial new laws begins Wednesday, January 1st eliminating cash bail for anyone charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies under bail reform.

"The individuals charged with those crimes, the judge is no longer going to have the ability to put bail on them with a few exceptions," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. Several months ago, Flynn said his office met with judges and defense attorneys ahead of the first of the year. Some 100 people eligible in Erie County have had their bail rescinded within the last month and released from jail.

Big picture, Flynn said he wants supports the law, but wants to see some tweaks including adding certain non-violent offenses and expanding domestic violence exceptions.

It has a fair share of opponents, including some law enforcement leaders and district attorneys.

But this law also includes a new rule for pretrial discovery.

Prosecutors must now turn over all evidence they have against defendants within 15-days of an arrest.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn in his downtown Buffalfo office.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn wasted no time last week, offering a defense team evidence against a Tonawanda man accused of killing his wife.

“The new law starts January 1st. We're not waiting 'till January first. We're not waiting on bail and we're not waiting on discoveries.” Flynn commented.

For couples experiencing infertility, a new state law begins January 1st to cover the high cost of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The new law requires all health care plans to cover up to three IVF treatments.

In three months, you will see big changes at the supermarkets. You might want to start stocking up on reusable bags because by March 1 there will be it will be the end to plastic bags at grocery stores.


Buffalo shopper Mary Alice Pellicca says she's ready for the plastic bag ban. She says it's time protect our environment.

“These are hurting everything. We have no room for garbage anymore. It’s piling up – in Niagara Falls,” remarked Pellicca.

If you are planning to operate a boat in the new season, Brianna's law, will now require anyone born on or after January 1st of 1993 to take a boating course and carry a New York boater card. And just four years from now, all boaters will be required to receive boating safety certification in 2024.