BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, some new laws taking action in 2023 were set in place.

For areas outside of New York City, the minimum wage went up one dollar, making it $14.20.

“So the big thing is the economy is adjusting to these new wages, and it’s going on and continually going on, and we’re going to see that again,” Fred Floss, economic and finance professor at SUNY Buffalo State, told News 4 over the weekend.

He believes because the rate of inflation has already gone up, this won’t be too much of an impact. He says some restaurants are already adjusting their menu size and inventory to keep their staff.

“What impact will that have? Probably not very much because starting salaries in Western New York are now around $17 an hour, so minimum wage is no longer basically a starting wage,” said Floss.

Other ways New York State could help wallets this year, are the changes that are coming for paid family leave.

According to the New York State Website, tens of thousands of working families are impacted by it, and this year, employees will contribute almost half a percent of their gross wages, making the annual contribution less than last years.

We spoke to legal analyst, Christopher Pannozzo, who told us they are also modifying the bill for who you can take off for.

“There were parents, grandparents, same sex partnerships, for children, for grandchildren–now it includes siblings,” said Pannozzo.

We also spoke to Pannozzo about a law change, commonly known as “A Wrong Church” law. This law entailed in years prior, that voters who went to the wrong polling place on election day, were encouraged to fill out an afar davit ballot. According to Pannozzo, many of the ballots that were not counted in the 2020 election, were due to this situation.

“There were some studies done in the 2020 election that showed especially in Erie County, 82% of registered voters whose ballots were invalidated, or not counted, were as a result of this wrong Church loophole,” said Pannozzo.

Now with the changes this year, he says if you do go to the wrong site on election day, that ballot will be counted as long as you are in your correct county and state assembly district.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.