Spate of new laws set to benefit Westchester residents

A slew of new laws passed in 2006 are days away from going into effect, and some of them will put money back into the pockets of Westchester residents.Minimum wage workers who reside in New York will see their hourly wage jump from $6.75 to $7.15 an hour. Tipped food service workers will also take home plumper paychecks when their salaries go from $4.35 to $4.60 an hour. State Senator Tom Morahan (R? Rockland County) says the pay hike is long overdue because New Yorkers face a higher cost of living.Taxpayers were also not overlooked in 2006. A law that takes effect in 2007 gives parents a personal income tax credit they can use towards their children?s education. The credit allows a $300 deduction for every child between 4 and 17 years old.Mental health advocates saw the passage of Timothy?s Law, recently signed by the governor. In 2007, the law will require insurance companies to treat mental health services like any other health issue, putting mental illness on parity with physical illness.

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