July 14, 2023

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In the News-New York State

Record Number of New Yorkers Used Paid Family Leave Program in 2022

New Data Shows More Than 700,000 New Yorkers Have Utilized the Paid Family Leave Program Since 2018 — Including More Than 160,000 in 2022

A record number of workers used New York’s Paid Family Leave Program to bond with their children or care for a seriously ill family member in 2022. The data, available on the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) interactive database, shows that the overall utilization rate, number of men taking paid paternity leave every year, and the average length of time off have all increased yearly during the first five years of the program.

According to Governor Kathy Hochul, in 2016, 13 percent of workers nationwide had paid family leave. Since New York’s Paid Family Leave Act was enacted in 2018, almost 717,000 family leave claims have been paid, with a record high of 163,124 claims in 2022.

Findings from the DFS data include:

  • The number of claims paid has increased each year of the program, excluding a slight drop in 2020, likely attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s paid family leave utilization rate (the percent of covered workers who used the benefit in a given year) has steadily grown each year from 1.59 percent in 2018, to 1.73 percent in 2019, 1.74 percent in 2020, 1.96 percent in 2021, and 2.06 percent in 2022.
  • The benefit is most often used by parents to take time to care for and bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, with 83,796 claims in 2018; 101,802 in 2019; 98,835 in 2020, 113,025 in 2021, and 117,851 in 2022.
  • More men are taking paternity leave every year to care for and bond with their children. The percent of paid family leave claims to bond with a child taken by men has increased every year: 30.8 percent (25,768 claims) in 2018; 33.2 percent (33,803 claims) in 2019; 36.4 percent (35,942 claims) in 2020, 38.3 percent (43,254 claims) in 2021, and 39.7 percent (46,764 in 2022).
  • More people are caring for seriously ill family members. 27.7 percent of claims were from New Yorkers taking paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member, and most commonly, to take time to care for a sick parent.  
  • The average time-off taken has increased each year from 5.5 weeks in 2018 to 7.9 weeks in 2022.

Claims by region in 2022 include:

  • New York City (49,703)
  • Long Island (23,687)
  • Mid-Hudson (17,144)
  • Western NY (14,539)
  • Capital Region (9,274)
  • Central NY (6,626)
  • Southern Tier (4,774)
  • Mohawk Valley (4,185)
  • North Country (2,953)
  • Unspecified or Out-of-State (17,997)

New York’s paid family leave program is employee-paid insurance that provides workers with job-protected, paid time off to bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, care for a family member with a serious health condition (which may include severe cases of COVID-19), or assist loved ones when a member of the family is deployed abroad on active military service. Eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off at 67 percent of their pay (up to a cap) in times of need.  

In 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation expanding the benefit to allow New Yorkers to take paid time to care for a seriously ill sibling. This new benefit takes effect in 2023.

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Strengthen Hate Crime Reporting on College Campuses

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation (Chapter 191 of the Laws of 2023) to specifically require colleges to report and post information regarding hate crime offenses on campuses.

Under the legislation, sponsored by Senator Toby Stavisky and AM Daniel Rosenthal, a college’s advisory committee on campus security must review current policies and procedures for educating the campus community about bias related and hate crimes, reporting hate crimes, and assisting victims during hate crime investigations.   

This legislation also updates the procedure for disseminating information on campus crime statistics, and specifically requires the reporting and posting of hate crime offenses. It requires this information to be made available on the college’s website. Colleges will also be required to adopt a plan providing for the investigation of hate crimes on campus and inform incoming students about hate crime prevention measures.

The bill also creates a clear obligation on the part of colleges to investigate potential hates crimes and report them to law enforcement.

“This new law will help identify and quantify hate on college campuses and allow us to better address the issue,” State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said.  “By clearly identifying how these incidents will be reported and tracked, students will now 

have access to resources for the campuses they call home. College is an opportunity for young people to learn about other cultures and customs. We must counter hate with education and teach a new generation that we accomplish much more together than we do apart.”

In the News-New York City      

NYCHA Releases $78.3 Billion New Physical Needs Assessment 

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) this week announced the release of a new Physical Needs Assessment (PNA) that estimates a 20-year capital investment need of $78.3 billion for buildings throughout the public housing portfolio, a 73 percent increase compared to a similar assessment in 2017. 

According to NYCHA, the Assessment investment is an increase of $45.2 billion from 2017 and reflects deteriorating conditions of NYCHA’s infrastructure. Approximately 54 percent or $42.1 billion of the 20-year estimate relates to assets requiring replacement immediately or within the next year, and 77 percent or $60.3 billion relates to assets requiring replacement within the next five years. 

NYCHA cited “decades of federal disinvestment and significant price escalation in the construction sector over the last few years” in relation to the increase.  In addition,  the $78.3 billion estimate represents “the magnitude of capital investment required to comprehensively address the conditions of NYCHA’s aging buildings and campuses to bring them to a good state of repair and ensure their long-term viability.” 

“Our administration has been clear since day one that NYCHA residents deserve the same quality of life as every New Yorker, but there is no question the needs at NYCHA are great,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “For the first time in city history, NYCHA was a priority in an administration’s housing plan, and we have been creative and relentless in our efforts to support residents — with new leadership in place and a powerful new tool in the Public Housing Preservation Trust alongside the PACT program…[but] only the federal government can provide the level of funding needed to overcome decades of disinvestment in the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who call public housing home.”

Through NYCHA’s Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program and the new Public Housing Preservation Trust and other strategies, NYCHA has a plan to address approximately 50 percent of the needs identified in the PNA through large-scale renovations.  Specifically, NYCHA estimates that approximately $38 billion could be addressed through ongoing and planned capital projects and the current targets of PACT and the Trust. 

However, without investment at a scale only the federal government can provide, NYCHA will not be able to meet 100 percent of physical needs, NYCHA administrators assert.

Conducted approximately every five years as recommended by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the PNA is a resource for effectively evaluating capital investment needs, as well as for identifying, planning, and executing the rehabilitation process. The 2023 PNA focuses on an industry-standard 20-year capital investment outlook for planning major building renovations and builds upon baseline data from various previous analyses by incorporating recent field assessments. The approximately $30 billion increase in total physical needs since 2017 is due to the following factors:

  • Approximately 2/3 of the increase is due to market price escalation; and
  • 1/3 of the increase is due to additional scope areas included in 2023 that were not included in 2017 (such as lead-based paint and asbestos abatement), the accelerated deterioration of assets, and methodology refinements.

The total costs of renovating apartment interiors, heating and hot water systems, plumbing, and building facades and windows constitute $58 billion, or 74 percent, of the total 20-year physical needs. The remaining 26 percent of the total physical needs includes a range of other building systems and components as well as grounds improvements. Approximately 61 percent of NYCHA apartments have less than $500,000 in total physical needs per unit, while 39 percent have more than $500,000 in physical needs per unit.

Bills Passed by the City Council

Introduction 193-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, Categorizes lead-based paint that is peeling or on a deteriorated subsurface in the common areas of a residential building as an immediately hazardous violation and strengthen inspection requirements for such common areas when children reside within in the building.  

Introduction 200-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Requires DOHMH to submit to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council, and make publicly available on DOHMH’s website, a semiannual report on the number of objections filed by multiple dwelling owners to DOHMH lead abatement orders. The report would be required to include the number of objections filed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and to specify the reasons why any objections are found to have merit, including faulty testing or paint sampling, or an exemption based on the dwelling’s construction date.

Introduction 645-B, sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adams, Requires the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to administer civil service exams in the City’s forthcoming borough-based jails, authorizing DCAS to waive the civil service exam fee for justice involved individuals, and requiring the City to provide information about the civil service exam system to them.

Introduction 1018-A, sponsored by Council Member Linda Lee, Requires the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health (OCMH), in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and other agencies, to provide an annual report to the Council with information regarding involuntary removals conducted pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law Sections 9.41 and 9.58.

Introduction 1019-A, sponsored by Council Member Linda Lee, Requires OCMH to maintain access to an interactive map of the locations, contact information, and payment information (including type of insurance accepted) of mental health services providers.

Introduction 1021-A, sponsored by Majority Leader Keith Powers, Requires the Mayor to establish four new crisis respite centers to provide individuals with mental illness increased access to community-based, peer-run facilities that are alternatives to hospitalization when such individuals experience psychiatric care.

Introduction 1022-A, sponsored by Council Member Kevin Riley, Requires the Mayor to establish five new clubhouses for individuals with serious mental illness, which are community-based facilities designed to support such individuals by providing wraparound services and opportunities for social connection, including group activities, peer support, job readiness skills, and transitional employment opportunities.

Introduction 1074-A, sponsored by Council Member Crystal Hudson, Prohibits the use of city resources to detain any person for seeking, obtaining, providing, or facilitating gender-affirming care in the state of New York, or outside the state of New York in circumstances where such conduct would have been lawful had it occurred in the state of New York. 


Governor Hochul Announces Implementation of Federal Measures to Protect Undocumented Workers During Labor Investigations

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced that the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has implemented a new process to shield undocumented immigrant workers from retaliation and removal during labor disputes, expanding on the protections implemented earlier this year by the Biden administration. 

Through an interagency partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NYSDOL is now working with undocumented workers and their advocates to gain temporary protection from prosecution and potential removal, as well as the ability to work legally in the U.S. if the worker is involved in State NYSDOL investigations.

Comptroller DiNapoli: Tax Cap Set at 2% in 2024

Property tax levy growth will be capped at 2% for 2024 for local governments that operate on a calendar-based fiscal year, according to data released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. This figure affects tax cap calculations for all counties, towns and fire districts, as well as 44 cities and 13 villages. 

“Allowable tax levy growth will be limited to 2% for a third consecutive year,” DiNapoli said. “Although the rate of inflation has begun to decrease, it still poses a challenge for local governments and their budgets. As local governments spend down their one-time federal pandemic assistance, officials will need to carefully develop and balance their budgets for the coming year.”

In accordance with state law, Comptroller DiNapoli’s office calculated the 2024 inflation factor at 6.26% for those local governments with a calendar fiscal year, “well above the 2% allowable levy increase, and indicative of the higher costs facing these localities.”

Mayor Adams Announces Settlement With Media Company L’Officiel USA Over Violations of Freelance Isn’t Free Act

The Adams Administration announced an agreement with media company L’Officiel USA, to resolve a 2021 lawsuit brought by the city over the company’s failure to pay freelancers on time, fully, or at all, in violation of New York City’s “Freelance Isn’t Free Act.” 

Under the agreement, L’Officiel must pay more than $275,000 — double the amount owed — to 41 freelancers who came forward to the city with complaints, make a payment to the city, and come into compliance with the Freelance Isn’t Free Act going forward.   L’Officiel must also pay double damages to any other freelancer who files a claim showing they were not fully paid for services performed.

New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act gives freelance workers the right to a written contract, timely payment, and freedom from retaliation. The law established a court navigation program as one avenue to assist freelancers in getting paid and accessing resources. It also authorizes the city to file cases against any person or business that shows a pattern or practice of violating the law.

Since the Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect in May 2017, the city has received over 40 complaints from freelancers who did work for L’Officiel, including writers, editors, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and illustrators.

Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto on Legislation to Address Homelessness Crisis

The New York City Council voted, 42-8, to override the Mayor’s veto of the Council’s legislation to address record homelessness and the eviction crisis by reforming the the CityFHEPS rental assistance voucher program.

The override included the following bills:

  • Introduction 878-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Removing shelter stay as a precondition to CityFHEPS eligibility. This would end the 90-day rule, reduce length of stay in the shelter system, and prevent new shelter entrants. 
  • Introduction 893-A, sponsored by Council Member Pierina Sanchez, Removing certain Department of Social Services (DSS)’ criteria that determines eligibility for CityFHEPS and give New Yorkers the ability to demonstrate risk of eviction by presenting a rent demand letter. 
  • Introduction 894-A, sponsored by Council Member Pierina Sanchez, Changing the eligibility for a CityFHEPS voucher from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 50 percent of the area median income and ease work and source of income requirements that make it difficult for individuals to pursue employment and housing concurrently.
  • Introduction 229-A, sponsored by Council Member Tiffany Cabán, Prohibiting the Department of Social Services from deducting a utility allowance from the maximum amount of a CityFHEPS voucher except in limited circumstances.

Coming Up

New York State

Wednesday, July 19th

Cannabis Control Board, City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), 55 West 125th Street, SPH-708 Auditorium, New York. 10:30 p.m.

NYS Commission on Ethics in Lobbying & Government, 10:30 a.m. Public Session Locations:

Manhattan: New York State Conference Center, 25 Beaver Street, 5th Floor

Albany:  540 Broadway, 1st Floor Conference Room

Syracuse: 1800 AXA Tower I, 100 Madison Street, Conference Room 19b -19th Floor


New York City 

Tuesday, July 18th

Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, Council Chambers – City Hall, 11 a.m.

Thursday, July 20th

Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings and Dispositions, 250 Broadway – Committee Room – 14th Floor, 10 a.m.

Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, 250 Broadway – Committee Room – 14th Floor, 11 a.m.

Committee on Land Use, 250 Broadway – Committee Room – 14th Floor, 12 p.m.

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