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Governor signs two new laws, helping mothers and patients

State of New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed two new laws that have taken effect immediately.

The first allows breastfeeding mothers to delay jury duty for up to two years. The law signed Monday requires mothers who want to postpone jury duty to submit a note from a physician. Jury duty can't have already been postponed or excused.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 other states have similar laws. Democratic Assembly Member Marcos Crespo said the bill protects maternal and child health while allowing people to fulfill their civic duty at a later time.

The second law signed by the governor requires insurance companies to ensure patients don't face higher out-of-pocket costs when receiving emergency care.

Cuomo said it is ridiculous to expect someone facing a life-or-death situation to check if a hospital is part of their hospital insurance network. The law also says hospital charges for emergency services are subject to an independent dispute resolution process.

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