January 20, 2023

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In the News-New York State

New York State Commission on Ethics in Lobbying & Government Launches Lobbyist and Client Training Application

Mandated Certification Requires Client Registration with Commission Online Filing System

The State Commission on Ethics in Lobbying & Government this week launched the portal for the statutorily required lobbyist and client training program. Clients and lobbyists were notified by the Commission in an email blast early Thursday morning (shortly after midnight). The training requirements were included in the FY2023 New York State budget.

All lobbyists and clients registered prior to January 18th have until March 18th to complete the training. Those registered after January 18th have 60 days from the date of registration to complete the training.

The course is accessible via the link provided by the Commission in the January 19th email or at Ethics Training for Lobbyists and Client page on the Commission website. After viewing the course, lobbyists and clients must sign into the Commission’s LA interface with their NYS Gov ID and certify course completion.

Clients that did not receive an email from the Lobbying Commission or that do not access the Commission’s online LA system should contact us and we will assist you with registration and certification.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.

2023 Brings New Chairs to Major Assembly Committees

2023 brings new leadership to the Assembly Higher Education, Environmental Conservation, Health, and Governmental Employees committees, as retirements and the November elections created new opportunities.

First elected in 2012, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy is now head the Committee on Higher Education which is responsible for the initiation and review of legislation relevant to higher education and the professions in New York State. It is primarily concerned with policy initiatives affecting the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), the independent colleges and universities of New York, proprietary vocational schools, student financial aid, and the licensed professions. She replaces long-time chair Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

Assemblymember Fahy represents the City of Albany and outlying towns. She is a leading advocate for job creation, environmental conservation, and quality education. Over 70 of her bills have been signed into law including: the Gun Industry Liability Law to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their role in the gun violence crisis; the Right to Repair legislation; and examining modification or replacement of part(s) of I-787 in downtown Albany to expand waterfront access and development.

Assemblymember Glick takes the helm of the Environmental Conservation Committee, replacing long-time Chair Steve Englebright who retired at the end of 2022. The Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation has jurisdiction over legislation affecting State environmental policy. The Committee considers bills amending the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), Executive Law, Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law, and Navigation Law. Its primary concerns are pollution prevention and control and resource management.

As a representative of Lower Manhattan for over 30 years, Assemblymember Glick has been a strong advocate for civil rights, reproductive freedom, animals and environmental preservation, the arts, and tenants’ rights. Her recent legislative accomplishments include the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, codifying Roe v. Wade in New York State law; a bill requiring courts to consider the best interest of a companion animal when determining custody of the pet during a divorce proceeding; the renewal of the Loft Law; and New York City’s speed camera program.

Assemblymember Amy Paulin was appointed Chair of the Health Committee, replacing New York’s longest serving legislator Assemblyman Richard Gottfried who retired in 2022. Since 2001, the full-time legislator has represented Westchester County and annually ranks among the state’s most productive and successful lawmakers. Her legislative agenda includes state government reform, children and families, domestic violence, sex trafficking, education, health care, sustainability, animal welfare, and preventing gun violence. She served as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy from 2013-2017 and as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions from 2018-2022.

Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato held her first Governmental Employees Committee meeting this week, reviewing legislation and policy proposals concerning the civil service law and the public pension and
retirement systems. The Assemblymember is proud to represent the New York State Assembly’s 23rd District–encompassing the Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel, Breezy Point, Roxbury, Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Arverne, Edgemere, Bayswater and Far Rockaway–since 2017. She has never shied away from advocating for causes she feels passionate about and is an outspoken champion for hardworking families, first responders, veterans, and seniors.

In the News-New York City

Mayor Adams Commits to Improving the Future of Women’s Health in NYC

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week outlined his vision for a New York City Women’s Health Agenda aimed at “dismantling decades of systemic inequity” and closing the gaps, including lack of access to care, lack of inclusion, and lack of innovation.

Mayor Adams’ model includes:

  • Relaunching the Sexual Education Task Force: Convened by the New York City Commission on Gender Equity, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Equity, the task force will educate the youngest New Yorkers and create a culture of sexual wellness and inclusivity. Recommendations include ensuring school staff have basic competencies around inclusivity and respect and that they can also link students to appropriate sexual health resources outside the school setting.
  • Immediately Committing to Tracking Rates of Different Diseases: Diseases tracked would include cancer, mental health conditions, heart disease, and, possibly, additional conditions, as well as life expectancy and other key indicators differentiated by age and race.
  • Building on Previous Successes for the City’s Workforce: The city will assemble a committee of experts to build on its past successes already achieved for its workforce, including increasing access to both lactation rooms and paid sick leave for cancer screenings. Work will include examining how to create more menopause-friendly workplaces and promoting access to health services by utilizing the City’s workplace wellness program, The committee will also look into how the city can achieve or develop accreditations related to becoming more “health friendly towards women.”
  • Expanding Access to Medication Abortion at New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Clinics: Specifically, the Morrisania Sexual Health Clinic in the Bronx will begin to provide abortion pills to individuals. In addition, DOHMH clinics in Crown Heights (Brooklyn), Central Harlem (Manhattan), and Jamaica (Queens) are scheduled to begin dispensing this medication by the end of the year. New York City Health + Hospitals’ (H+H) 11 public hospitals citywide already offer medication abortion.
  • Launching a Provider Education Campaign on Maternal Health: The campaign will focus on supporting those with hypertension and diabetes and will entail direct outreach to providers in target neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan that experience health and other socioeconomic disparities. The 20-week campaign will launch in the summer of 2023.
  • Launching of a Family-Based Substance Use Disorder Program at H+H: The substance use disorder program will focus on providing support to those who are pregnant and/or parenting and struggling with addiction, while additionally providing their children with mental health support and other services. The program will integrate family medicine, behavioral health, and addiction medicine across a continuum of care.
  • Committing to Exploring the Expansion of and Access to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by pregnancy, a traumatic physical incident, age, menopause, or obesity. One in three women will experience a pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime.

Bills Approved by the City Council

Introduction 559-A–sponsored by Council Member Marjorie Velázquez– Prohibiting food service establishments, third-party food delivery services, and third-party courier services from providing eating utensils, napkins, condiment packets and extra eating containers to customers with their take-out and delivery orders, unless the customer has specifically requested those items from the restaurant or third-party platform (such as GrubHub or Seamless) facilitating the order.

Introduction 660-A–sponsored by Higher Education Committee Chair Eric Dinowitz–Requiring the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) or any office designated by the mayor to establish a program to help such students in obtaining accommodations at institutions of higher education, by providing a system for students to consent to the sharing of information about their special education services, and providing student advocates for related support.

Introduction 672-A–co-sponsored by Council Members Linda Lee and Lynn Schulman—Creating culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate programming at older adult centers in New York City.

Introduction 673-A–co-sponsored by Council Members Linda Lee and Lynn Schulman–Guaranteeing full legal representation for anyone 60 years of age and older in eviction or termination of tenancy proceedings in housing court.

Introduction 674-A–co-sponsored by Council Members Linda Lee and Lynn Schulman–Requiring DFTA to develop and post a “Know Your Rights” pamphlet for older adults on DFTA’s website and on the 311 website. DFTA would also be required to conduct outreach on the pamphlet and annually report on such outreach efforts.

Introduction 855, sponsored by Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers–Requiring additional disclosure from Super PACs that fund advertisements supporting or opposing local ballot proposals. Specifically, these organizations would be required to report information about their funding sources to the Campaign Finance Board.


Comptroller DiNapoli: State Tax Receipts Exceed Latest Projections by $7.7 Billion

State tax receipts totaled $79.8 billion through the third quarter of State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23, exceeding the latest projections from the Division of the Budget’s (DOB) Mid-Year Update to the State Financial Plan by nearly $7.7 billion, according to the monthly State Cash Report released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“Tax collections continued to exceed projections through December,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “However, concerns of an economic downturn and a cloudy revenue picture continue to create uncertainty. These conditions reinforce the importance of increasing rainy day reserve funds on or ahead of the schedule proposed in the Financial Plan.”

Personal income tax (PIT) receipts totaled $42.1 billion and were $8.1 billion above the latest financial plan projections through Dec. 31. However, PIT receipts were $6.9 billion lower than the same period in SFY 2021-22. This reflects two fewer collection days from the prior year as well as higher refunds from credits associated with the Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET) and property tax relief.

Year-to-date consumption and use tax collections totaled $15.5 billion, including $14.3 billion from sales and use taxes, which were 4.6% or $679.5 million higher than the same period last year, and $85.7 million higher than anticipated by DOB. Business taxes totaled $19.3 billion, $1 billion or 5.5% higher than the prior fiscal year, but $761.1 million below DOB’s latest financial plan projections.

All Funds spending through December totaled $149.3 billion, which was $7.8 billion, or 5.5%, higher than last year for the same period. All Funds spending through December was $120 million lower than DOB’s latest projection primarily due to lower than anticipated capital projects spending.

The State’s General Fund ended December with a balance of $49.4 billion, $9.7 billion higher than projected and just under $18.8 billion higher than last year at the same time, primarily due to PTET collections, higher than anticipated tax collections and lower than anticipated capital projects spending.

WTC Health Program Now Covers Uterine Cancer

The World Trade Center Health (WTC) Program has issued the final rule adding all types of uterine cancer, including endometrial cancer, to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions effective January 18, 2023. The WTC Health Program will cover treatment for members whose uterine cancers are certified with no out-of-pocket costs. Eligible members will also qualify for all Program benefits including monitoring, certain cancer screenings, and benefits counseling.

“This rule is significant as it not only provides access to life-saving care and treatment, but also recognition for the women who sacrificed so much on and after 9/11 that their diagnosed uterine cancer is a WTC-related health condition,” said WTC Health Program Administrator John Howard, M.D. “With the publication of this rule, a critical gap in coverage for women in the Program has been eliminated. All types of cancer, if determined to be related to 9/11 exposures, are now covered by the World Trade Center Health Program, providing women equal access to the treatment they deserve.”

Today, there are more than 121,000 members enrolled in the WTC Health Program—more than 26,000 Program members are women, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Waterfront Commission Rejects New Jersey Assemblymember’s Job Retention Appeal

The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor this week rejected an appeal by a New Jersey Assemblyman to keep his longshoreman position despite being unavailable for work for the required number of days.

On Tuesday, the Commission voted unanimously to reject the appeal of Assemblyman William Sampson, 2-0. The Waterfront Commission initially ruled on December 21st to remove Assemblyman Sampson from the waterfront and revoke his license due to “excessive absenteeism” due to his other job in the state legislature. The Assemblyman did not meet the requirement that waterfront workers work or are available to work at least 15 days a month every five out of six months.

According to published reports, Assemblyman Sampson and his attorney had argued that his duties as a member of the state Legislature justified his absenteeism because his work in the Legislature was helping one of his employers, International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1588.

“My responsibilities as a member of the N.J. Assembly are of significant value to Local 1588,” Assemblyman Sampson said in one of the written statements he made during the process, according to published reports. “In fact, I received the support of the Local and our members to run for office precisely because of the desire of the Local to have a representative whose voice would be heard in Trenton. My legislative responsibilities that are valuable to Local 1588 include ensuring that the members are kept abreast of pending legislation that affects the industry; the opportunity to engage with my legislative colleagues regarding potential legislation which would be either favorable or problematic for the Local 1588 membership; and tracking, supporting, or introducing legislation would be helpful to our members and the industry in general.”

New York’s First Cannabis Dispensary Owned by a Justice Impacted Individual to Open

The first Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license in New York State owned by a justice involved entrepreneur will open at 144 Bleecker Street in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 24th at 10 a.m.

According to a statement by Governor Kathy Hochul, the dispensary, called Smacked LLC, will be owned and operated by Roland Conner with a soft opening as a “Pop-up” through February 20th. As with some other initial dispensaries to be supported by the Fund, this will provide licensees the opportunity to open on a short-term basis to fast-track sales and start generating capital for their businesses, after which they will close for final construction and then re-open on a long-term basis.

The Pop-up program is designed to give the operator initial training opportunities before opening full-time and will benefit all businesses involved in the cannabis supply chain, including farmers who have cannabis ready for distribution, processors who are making cannabis into other types of products, distributors, and retail operators, as well as consumers who are seeking access to safer products they can trust.

The location is part of the program sponsored by the Fund, which is working with the Social Equity Servicing Corporation, (SESC), a subsidiary of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), to support the acquisition, design, construction, and outfitting of locations for cannabis dispensaries to be operated by CAURD licensees.

Managed by Social Equity Impact Ventures, the Fund will help justice involved individual CAURD licensees meet the costs of establishing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries, including the identification and leasing of suitable retail locations and design, construction, and fit-out of the spaces. It is supported by up to $50 million in licensing fees and revenue from the adult-use cannabis industry and up to $150 million from the private sector that will be raised by the Fund manager.

Coming Up

New York State

Monday, January 23rd

Senate Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Legislative Office Building, Room 612, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Procurement and Contracts, Legislative Office Building, Room 801, 11:00 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Women’s Issues, Legislative Office Building, Room 945, 11:15 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Finance, New York State Capitol Building, Room 124, 11:30 a.m.

Assembly Session, New York State Capitol Building, Assembly Chamber, Albany, 2 p.m.

Senate Session, New York State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Albany, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, January 24th

Senate Standing Committee on Education, Legislative Office Building, Room 510, 10:00 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, New York State Capitol Building, Room 124, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, New York State Capitol Building, Room 124, 11:30 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families, Legislative Office Building, Room 915, 1:30 p.m.

Assembly Session, New York State Capitol Building, Assembly Chamber, Albany, TBD

Senate Session, New York State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Albany, TBD

Wednesday, January 25th

Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture, Legislative Office Building, Room 901, 9:30 a.m.

Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Legislative Office Building, Room 945, 9:45 a.m.

Assembly Session, New York State Capitol Building, Assembly Chamber, Albany, TBD

Senate Session, New York State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber, Albany, TBD

Thursday, January 26th

To Receive Testimony Regrading the Child Care Crisis in New York State, the Lack of Availability of Child Care, and Any Legislation or Policy Response to Protect Child Care Workers and Families.

Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families

Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building. 2nd Floor, Albany, 10 a.m.

New York City

Monday, January 23rd

Committee on Public Safety, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.

Oversight – NYPD’s Strategic Response Group.

Tuesday, January 24th

Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 10 a.m.

Committee on Housing and Buildings, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1 p.m.

Oversight – Accessory Dwelling Units and a Pathway to Basement Legalization.

Wednesday, January 25th

Joint – Committee on Criminal Justice & Women and Gender Equity, Council Chambers, 10 a.m.

Oversight – The TGNCNBI Task Force Report Update and TGNCNBI Individuals in Rikers.

Committee on Education, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1 p.m.
Oversight – DOE’s New Admissions Processes.