June 21, 2024

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In the News-New York State

Governor Hochul Announces Approval of Update to NY’s Energy Storage Roadmap

Roadmap Expands State’s Energy Storage Programs to Promote the Rapid Growth of Renewables and Bolster Grid Reliability Storage Deployments Expected to Reduce Projected Future Statewide Electric System Costs by Nearly $2 Billion

New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday approved a new framework for the  State to achieve a nation-leading six gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, which represents at least 20  percent of the peak electricity load of New York State.  

The roadmap is a comprehensive set of recommendations to support a buildout of storage  deployments across the State. Storage deployments are estimated to reduce projected future statewide  electric system costs by nearly $2 billion. 

“Expanding energy storage technology is a key component to building New York’s clean energy  future and reaching our climate goals,” Governor Hochul said. “This new framework provides New York  with the resources it needs to speed up our transition to a green economy, while ensuring the reliability  and resilience of our grid.” 

Roadmap details include: 

  • 3,000 megawatts of new bulk storage to be procured through a new competitive Index Storage  Credit mechanism, which is anticipated to provide long-term certainty to projects. 
  • 1,500 megawatts of new retail storage and 200 megawatts of new residential storage to be  supported through an expansion of NYSERDA’s existing region-specific block incentive  programs. 
  • Utilization of at least 35 percent of program funding to support projects that deliver benefits to  Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) and that target fossil fuel peaker plant emissions  reductions, with program carve-outs for projects sited in the downstate region, given its high  concentration of DACs and peaker plants. 
  • Requiring electric utilities to study the potential of high-value energy storage projects toward  providing cost-effective transmission and distribution services not currently available through  existing markets. 
  • Continued prioritization by existing programs on investing in research and development related  to reliable long-duration energy storage technologies. 
  • Payment of prevailing wage as a programmatic requirement for energy storage projects with a  capacity of one megawatt and above. 

“A critical part of building New York’s green infrastructure is laying out a framework for  establishing an efficient energy storage system that will not only bolster our grid resilience, but also create  thousands of family-sustaining union careers for hard working people,” New York State Building and  Construction Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera explained. “This new plan from the New York  State Public Service Commission will play a major role in expanding our storage program, enabling us to  achieve the goals set out by the CLCPA and deliver reliable renewable energy to more New Yorkers, all  while giving more tradesmen and tradeswomen the opportunity to pursue the middle class.” 

In the News-New York City

Mayor Adams Launches City’s First Community Hiring Effort Valued at $1.2 Billion

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week announced the city’s first-ever community hiring  effort, which will leverage more than $1.2 billion in city contracts to create job opportunities for  underserved New Yorkers.  

Community hiring allows the city to use its purchasing power, set hiring goals across city  procurement contracts, and build on the success of existing project labor agreements and agency-specific  hiring programs.  

“Uplifting communities out of poverty does not require rocket science, but it does demand  common-sense, targeted and long-term investment in our neighborhoods,” New York State Senator  Cordell Cleare said. “…With today’s announcement, I am confident that City dollars will now flow in a  way that brings forth a multiplier effect not just economically, but socially.”

The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) released the city’s  first-ever request for proposal (RFP) subject to community hiring, which will result in an estimated $1.2  billion in contracts for security guard services and fire safety personnel throughout the five boroughs. The  contracts awarded under this RFP contain a community hiring goal for 40 percent of the labor hours to be  performed by individuals who live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing or in a ZIP  code where at least 15 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold.  

Job opportunities include security guards, security guard supervisors, field inspectors, field  managers, and an emergency action plan and fire safety director. New hires will be provided with 40 hours  of no-cost training as part of their employment. The RFP will require city agencies with under $1.5  million in annual spending on security guard services to solicit from a pre-qualified list of M/WBE firms. 

“District Council 9 applauds Mayor Eric Adams for his groundbreaking initiative to allocate more  than a billion dollars in city contracts with community hiring goals,” said Joseph Azzopardi, business  manager and secretary treasurer, District Council 9. “This is a significant step toward bridging economic  disparities and providing meaningful job opportunities for underserved New Yorkers. By prioritizing labor  hours for individuals from NYCHA housing and communities with high poverty rates, Mayor Adams is  not only fostering economic growth but also empowering our city’s residents to build a brighter future.”

Comptroller DiNapoli: NYC IDA Needs To Improve  Its Administration of Business Tax Breaks and  Monitoring of Job Creation

NYCIDA Pushes Back on Comptroller’s Findings

The New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) approved tax breaks and other  incentives for businesses even though it lacked required financial information and financial feasibility  analyses, according to a new audit from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. 

“The New York City IDA can help foster local economic growth and job creation, but without  effective project selection and monitoring, there’s little accounting for the benefits the public gets from  these tax breaks and other incentives,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “My audit found the agency needs to  do a much better job in ensuring that applicants have been thoroughly vetted and that they fulfil all  program requirements, including the creation and retention of jobs.” 

According to the Comptroller, the NYCIDA helps eligible local businesses to invest in their  growth, expansion, or relocation by waiving city and state sales tax, providing local property tax  abatements, and lowering their mortgage recording taxes, with some benefits continuing for up to 30  years. Companies have to show why they would not be able to execute their business plans without this  help, provide their financial statements, and project how many full time equivalent (FTE) jobs will be  created or retained because of the breaks.

The audit found that in 21 of the 23 successful applications that auditors sampled, NYCIDA did  not get all the required financial information from companies that were awarded tax breaks and other  assistance. NYCIDA was missing 13 companies’ last three years of financial statements and 10  companies’ certificates of liability insurance. Two companies did not have to submit applications because  their assistance was a continuation of previous benefit awards. 

Although NYCIDA is supposed to conduct a feasibility analysis for businesses’ proposed projects,  the audit found, in 17 of the 23 applications reviewed, auditors found the analysis either was not done or  was done incorrectly for the 15 that the IDA performed. The IDA did not complete the analysis for eight  of them because it lacked the necessary information on the businesses’ cash flow. For the other seven, it  transcribed information from the businesses’ tax returns and financial statements into its own analysis but  made errors during transcription. Auditors also discovered that NYCIDA used incorrect financial formulas  in their analyses from 2012 until 2021. For example, its analysis mistakenly overstated the cash flow  businesses had available to pay their debts. 

In its response to the audit, NYCIDA asserted that the findings do not reflect its current operating  practices and improvements made in recent years. Its full response is included in the audit, beginning on  page 20 of the report. 


New York Enacts Legislation to Restrict Addictive Social Media Feeds and  Protect Kids Online Signed into Law 

New York Attorney General Letitia James, Governor Kathy Hochul, and bill sponsors Senator  Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Nily Rozic this week announced that legislation to combat  addictive social media feeds and protect kids online has been signed into law.  

The first bill, Chapter 120 of the Laws of 2024, Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) For  Kids Act will require social media companies to restrict addictive feeds on their platforms for users under  18. The second bill, Chapter 121 of the laws of 2024, the New York Child Data Protection Act, will  prohibit online sites from collecting, using, sharing or selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18,  unless they receive informed consent or unless doing so is strictly necessary for the purpose of the  website.  

Comptroller DiNapoli: State Pension Fund Investments Return 11.55% for  State Fiscal Year 2023-24 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli this week announced that the New York State  Common Retirement Fund’s investment return was 11.55% for the state fiscal year that ended March 31,  2024. The Fund closed the year with an estimated value of $267.7 billion. The Fund’s value reflects  retirement and death benefits of $16.07 billion paid out during the fiscal year.

As of March 31, 2024, the Fund had 42.85% of its assets invested in publicly traded equities. The  remaining Fund assets by allocation are invested in cash, bonds and mortgages (22.26%), private equity  (14.60%), real estate and real assets (12.77%) and credit, absolute return strategies and opportunistic  alternatives (7.52%). 

NYS Rent Stabilization Board Approves  Rent Guidelines for Stabilized Apartments 

Together with such further adjustments as may be authorized by law, the annual adjustment for leases  for apartments shall be: 

  • For a one-year lease commencing on or after October 1, 2024 and on or before September 30, 2025: 2.75% 
  • For a two-year lease commencing on or after October 1, 2024 and on or before September 30,  2025: 5.25%

At Monday’s meeting, Nestor Davidson, Chair of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board provided  the following statement, “… tenants in rent-stabilized housing are facing genuine precarity, owner costs  are continuing to rise, and there is reason to be concerned about the long-term health of the stock of rent stabilized housing. Our long-standing practice as a Board reflects that in weighing these considerations,  we seek to ensure the stability of the rent stabilization system for tenants and owners and preserve this  truly foundational aspect of housing in our city, and I believe this year’s guidelines strike the appropriate  balance.”  

Adams Administration Releases RFP to Reduce Asylum Seeker Costs 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week released a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP)  for companies and organizations to provide shelter and shelter-related services in response to the asylum  seeker crisis.  

The RFP seeks to solicit a range of vendors to support the next phase of the “Asylee Flex”  program which has been operating for 10 months and currently serves thousands of migrants across 26  hotel sites, including approximately 2,400 migrants across 13 sites in New York City, and 1,600 migrants  in 13 sites located upstate. 

The selected vendor, or vendors, will be expected to provide services at existing sites, and possibly  additional sites as directed by the city. The scope of work includes managing relationships with hotels,  engaging with and maintaining open lines of communication with key stakeholders, as well as providing  shelter, food, housekeeping, security, case management, laundry, and the coordination of additional  services with no additional fee including legal, reconnection, travel, education, and donations.

Mayor Adams Announces Johnny Celestin As Executive Director Of  Mayor’s Office Of Nonprofit Services 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week appointed Johnny Celestin as the executive director  of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. Celestin will oversee the office’s efforts to  engage and communicate critical information to nonprofits, develop and deliver capacity-building  programs to support nonprofits to contract with the city more easily. 

Before this role, Celestin served at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) as deputy director. Before joining city government, Celestin  worked extensively across the nonprofit sector, including at the Robin Hood Foundation, Atlantic  Philanthropies, Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence, Haitian Fund for Innovation and  Reconstruction, and the Clinton Foundation. 

Celestin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Iona University and a  master’s degree in International Affairs at the New School University.

Coming Up 

New York State 

Monday, June 24th 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels Committee Meeting, 9 a.m. 

MTA Joint LIRR/Metro-North Committee Meeting, 9:30 a.m. 

MTA NYCT/MTA Bus Committee Meeting, 10:45 a.m. 

MTA Diversity Committee Meeting, 12 p.m. 

MTA Capital Program Committee Meeting, 1 p.m. 

MTA Finance Committee Meeting, 2:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 26th 

MTA Board Meeting, 9 a.m.


New York City 


Monday, June 24th 

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

Committee on Civil Services and Labor, Committee Room – City Hall, 1 p.m.


Tuesday, June 25th 

Committee on Housing and Labor, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

Committee on Women and Gender Equity, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1 p.m. 


Wednesday, June 26th 

Committee on Children and Youth, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

Committee on Criminal Justice, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

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

Committee on Fire and Emergency Management, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. Committee on Public Safety, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings and Dispositions, 

250 Broadway – Committee Room, 16th Floor, 11 a.m. 

Committee on Zoning and Franchises, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 16th Floor, 11:30 a.m. 


Thursday, June 27th 

Committee on Civil and Human Rights, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

Committee on Land Use, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m. 

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