- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A look at the major issues lawmakers confronted during the 2016 New York legislative session:

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MINIMUM WAGE

The state’s minimum wage will go from $8 to $15 over three years in New York City - businesses with fewer than 10 employees will get four years - and over six years on Long Island and in Westchester County. Upstate, the math is a little fuzzier, with the wage increasing to $12.50 over five years, and then increasing to $15 based on a timeframe determined by state labor and budget officials and on economic indicators.

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TAX CUT

In an effort to offset the wage hike, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers agreed to a phased-in middle-class tax cut for New Yorkers with an income between $40,000 and $300,000.

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PAID FAMILY LEAVE

Starting in 2018, New York workers will become eligible to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick relative. The benefit, which will top out at 12 weeks, will be funded by worker payroll contributions that will cost from 70 cents a week up to $1.40. Benefits will start at 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped at half the statewide average weekly wage, rising to 67 percent in 2021.

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EDUCATION

The budget contains $24.8 billion for public schools, an increase of $1.5 billion. Lawmakers also agreed to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools by one year.

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BRUNCH

Restaurants and bars will be able to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays, two hours earlier than under current law.

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BREAST CANCER SCREENING

Hospitals throughout the state will have to expand hours for breast cancer screening, and insurance co-pays and deductibles for the procedure will be scrapped.

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HEROIN

Opioid prescriptions will be limited to seven days and insurance changes will make it easier for addicts to get treatment under this plan to combat heroin and opioid addiction. The state budget contains $189 billion for expanded prevention and treatment efforts.

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ETHICS

Lawmakers have begun the process of placing a Constitutional amendment on the ballot to strip the pensions from crooked lawmakers. They also voted to strengthen rules governing independent political organizations, require political consultants to identify clients and expand lobbyist disclosure rules.

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MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

A ban on professional mixed martial arts was lifted.

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DAILY FANTASTY SPORTS

Lawmakers voted to legalize and regulate online daily fantasy sports. The popular games were disrupted last year when Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said they amounted to illegal gambling.

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