June 23, 2023

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NY Primary Election Day

Tuesday, June 27th

Polls are open from 6 am to 9 pm

New York State Board of Elections: Poll Site, Registration, and Absentee Ballot Tracker

New York City Board of Elections:  Find Your Pollsite & View Sample Ballot

In the News-New York State

2023 Legislative Session Adjourned, To Reconvene At the Call of the Respective Leaders

The Assembly gaveled out shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, bringing a “close” to the 2023 legislative session.

Over the past six months, 896 bills have been approved by both houses of the legislature, 603 during the month of June.  Currently, 758 bills are waiting to be delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul for consideration.

However, the work of the Assembly may not be complete.   Legislation authorizing the Hochul Administration to enter into a new gaming compact with the Seneca Nation was not passed during the two-day session.  The current compact expires on December 9th.  Failure to approve a new compact or extend the current compact could result in revenue loss for the State and localities that house a Seneca-run casino (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Salamanca).

Chapters of the Laws of 2023

Chapter 136 Sponsored by AM Fahey/Senator StaviskyTo authorize certain out-of-state nurses and physicians who practiced in New York pursuant to Executive Order 4 on May 22, 2023 to temporarily practice in New York State pending a determination on licensure.

Chapter 137 Sponsored by Senator Rivera/AM Paulin — To allow the current community-based paramedicine programs to continue for two years and require an evaluation by the Department of Health.

Bills Passed by Both Houses of the Legislature (June 20th-21st

S587 Sponsored by Senator Comrie/AM Walker — Requires the state board of elections to develop and provide to each county materials for a model poll worker training program which the counties may use to train individuals to serve as poll workers in state and county elections.

S995B Sponsored by Senator Hoylman-Sigal/AM Gallagher — Require that LLCs include an initial report, including a list of beneficial owners, with the documents submitted to the Department of State when organizing an LLC in New York State.

S1066B Sponsored by Senator Mayer/AM Reyes — Provides certain legal protections for reproductive health service providers who provide legally protected health activities including protection from extradition, arrest and legal proceedings in other states relating to such services.

S1419 Sponsored by Senator Comrie/AM Jackson — Relates to requiring agencies to provide unsuccessful bidders that are certified minority-and women-owned business enterprises with a written statement of the completion of the procurement selection process and that such enterprise was not selected.

S2832A Sponsored by Senator Breslin/AM Cruz — Adds wage theft to the types of activities included in the crime of larceny.

S2980C Sponsored by Senator Kavanagh/AM Rosenthal L — Establishes the legal regulated rent for the combination of two or more vacant apartments; defines permanently vacated; relates to exemptions from rent stabilization on the basis of substantial rehabilitation; relates to public hearings by the city rent agency (Part A); relates to clearly defining the scope of the fraud exception to the pre-HSTPA four-year rule for calculating rents (Part B); relates to the failure of owners to file rent registration statements and the enforcement powers of the commissioner of housing and community renewal (Part C).

S3100A Sponsored by Senator Ryan/AM Joyner — Prohibits non-compete agreements and certain restrictive covenants; authorizes covered individuals to bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against any employer or persons alleged to have violated such prohibition.

S4859A Sponsored by Senator Krueger/AM Zebrowski — Enacts the New York tropical deforestation-free procurement act requiring that companies contracting with the state do not contribute to tropical primary forest degradation or deforestation directly or through their supply chains.

S4907A Sponsored by Senator Rivera/AM Paulin — Prohibits medical debt from being collected by a consumer reporting agency or included in a consumer report and prohibits medical service providers from reporting medical debt directly or indirectly to a consumer reporting agency.

S6218A Sponsored by Senator Parker/AM Mitaynes — Enacts “the planned offshore wind transmission act”; requires the New York state energy and research development authority to establish a plan for improved transmission planning and coordinating systems for an offshore grid. 

S6293 Sponsored by Senator Jackson/AM Pheffer Amato — Relates to a child care leave credit for New York city uniformed correction officers who are members of the New York city uniformed correction/sanitation revised plan.

S6893 Sponsored by Senator Harckham/AM Levenberg — Provides that it shall be unlawful to discharge any radiological substance into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant; provides for attorney general enforcement. 

S7563 Sponsored by Senator Sanders/AM Bichotte Hermelyn — Increases the city of New York procurement limit for businesses owned by women and minorities from one million dollars to one million, five hundred thousand dollars.

New York’s First Utility-Scale Offshore Wind Farm Remains on Track for End of 2023 Operation

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced that South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, has achieved its “steel in the water” milestone with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation.   The partnership between Ørsted and Eversource now officially enters its wind turbine installation phase, the final construction period for the 12-turbine, 130-megawatt project, located 35 miles from Montauk.

  South Fork Wind launched in February 2022, and will be one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects to commence operation in North America when it is operational in late 2023.

According to the Governor, the project is one of five offshore wind projects New York State has in active development to advance the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.  

The projects are also expected to create more than 10,000 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, and operations and maintenance. 

New York local union members, including ironworkers, pile drivers, divers, operating engineers, electricians, laborers, and other members of the region’s building trades are supporting the work offshore.   Ørsted and Eversource in 2022 signed the National Offshore Wind Agreement (NOWA) with North America’s Building Trades Unions.

Meanwhile, State regulators and the Legislature this week approved projects aimed at fulfilling and exceeding the Climate Act goal.

The State Public Service Commission (“the Commission”) started the process of expanding the State’s transmission system to deliver energy from offshore wind power sources to the New York City grid. 

Commission Chair Rory M. Christian explained, “…we conclude that …. [the State’s Climate Act] drives the need for additional transmission facilities, and in particular, we seek options for delivery of the output of offshore wind generating resources to New York City interconnection points.”  

With the decision, the Commission has begun the process to approve a project that would collect energy from multiple wind farms and send up to 4.7 gigawatts of wind energy ashore to New York City. The project is meant to be in service by January 1, 2033.  The New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO) will solicit competitive proposals from transmission developers.    

Also this week, the Legislature is looking beyond the Climate Act’s mandate and has approved legislation to establish future planning.  

Sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker (D Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (D Brooklyn), the legislation would establish a plan for transmission and coordination systems for an offshore grid upon expansion of the state’s offshore wind megawatt goal above the current 9,000-megawatt mandate.   

The legislation includes parkland alienation in the City of Long Beach for siting the onshore transmission line for the Empire Wind farm.   Empire Wind would be located between 15 and 30 miles off the southern coast of Long Beach and Jones Beach. It would contain up to 147 wind turbines, 2 offshore substations, and transmissions lines.  

The legislation will go to Governor Hochul for consideration.

In the News-New York City

2023 Primary Elections

On Saturday, June 17th, early voting sites in NYC opened their doors to primary election voters.   As of Thursday night, nearly 28,000 voters have cast a ballot in Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. There are no contested primaries in Staten Island.

Registered Democrats have the opportunity to vote in contested primary elections for Queens District Attorney, Bronx District Attorney, Civil Court Judge, Delegates to Judicial Conventions, and Member of the City Council.  Registered Republicans have the opportunity to vote in multiple contested primaries for City Council and County Committee across Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. Eastern Bronx registered Conservatives can vote in a contested primary for the 13th Council District, featuring the same candidates running in the Republican primary in the same district.

Races to watch include the Democratic primary for Queens District Attorney, the Democratic, Republican, and Conservative primaries in the 13th Council District, the Democratic primary in the 23rd Council District, and the Democratic and Republican primaries in the new 43rd Council District in Brooklyn.

Early voting sites are open from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Polls reopen on Tuesday, Primary day, at 6 am and stay open until 9 pm. Voters can find their poll site on the City’s Board of Election website using the following URL: https://findmypollsite.vote.nyc/.

Bills Approved by the City Council

Introduction 706-A Sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu — Requires the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health to maintain a public, searchable online database of available mental health services in New York City on its website. 

Introduction 1001-B Sponsored by Council Member Lynn Schulman — Allows enforcement agencies to fine owners of commercial properties who lease to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products.

Introduction 1006-A Sponsored by Council Member Erik BottcherRequire the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to develop and implement a public awareness campaign and conduct outreach on mental health and behavioral health programs in New York City that provide low-cost and no-cost services, specifically to those who do not qualify for health insurance based on federal guidelines. 

Introduction 1051-B Sponsored by Council Member Justin BrannanAuthorizes the expansion of the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs to qualifying tenants in Battery Park City and select former Mitchell-Lama buildings.


Governor Appoints Hope Knight to Cannabis Control Board

Governor Kathy Hochul this week appointed Hope Knight, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development, to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB). Commissioner Knight will be seated immediately and will serve at next month’s CCB meeting.

She replaces State Dormitory Authority President and CEO Rueben McDaniel who stepped down at last week’s Cannabis Control Board June meeting.  

The New York State CCB is the approval and oversight body of the Office of Cannabis Management. The Board is responsible for approving the regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis industry, including issuing applications and licenses to cannabis businesses and approving the rules and regulations which will govern the industry.

US Senator Gillibrand Announces Legislation To Invest $50 Billion In Rural Economic Development

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this week unveiled her Rebuild Rural America Act, legislation that would invest $50 billion in rural economic development, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and small businesses. 

The bill would make it easier for rural communities to access federal funding and other resources.  Specifically, the Rebuild Rural America Act would:

    • Establish a Rural Future Partnership Fund that would create a $50 billion block grant program for long-term rural economic development projects, including investments in child care centers, public schools, libraries, community centers, health care providers, workforce development programs, emergency preparedness programs, main street revitalization programs, and water and sewer facilities.
    • Make it easier for rural communities to access federal funds and other resources by establishing a USDA Rural Innovation and Partnership Administration. 
    • Fight population loss from rural areas by launching the Rural Future Corps, a program that would place AmeriCorps Fellows in rural communities and help these communities expand critical services like child care, health, nutrition assistance, education, and job training. 
  • Empower local leaders to connect with the expertise of national technical assistance providers with rural regions.

New York Provides an Update on First Enforcement Actions Under New Law Against Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses

Since June 7th, the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) have jointly conducted inspections at 33 storefront businesses in New York City, Ithaca, and Binghamton not licensed to sell cannabis. The two agencies have issued Notices of Violation to 31 of these businesses, from which they have seized and catalogued at least 1000 pounds of illicit cannabis with an estimated value of nearly $11 million.  Enforcement will be continuing weekly throughout the state.

The new enforcement legislation has authorized OCM to assess civil penalties against unlicensed cannabis businesses, with fines starting at $10,000 per day, and rising up to $20,000 per day for the most egregious conduct. The new law has also authorized the agency to seek a State court order to ultimately padlock businesses found to be in repeated violation of the law. In addition, the law makes it a crime to sell cannabis and cannabis products without a license.

In addition to the powers granted to OCM, the new enforcement law also empowers DTF to conduct regulatory inspections of businesses selling cannabis to determine if appropriate taxes have been paid and to levy civil penalties in cases where they have not. The legislation also establishes a new tax fraud crime for businesses that willfully fail to collect or remit required cannabis taxes.

Rent Guidelines Board Approves 3% Hike on One-Year Leases 

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted to allow rent increases of 3 percent on        one-year leases and increases on two-year leases of 2.75 percent the first year and 3.2 percent the second year.   The increases will impact over 1 million rental properties in the City and would apply to leases signed on or after October 1st

The one-year increase was down slightly from the 3.25 percent rent hike approved last year.  At its preliminary vote in May, the board approved a range between 2 and 5 percent on one-year leases and 4 and 7 percent on two-year leases. 

Mayor Eric Adams thanked members of the board “for their critically important and extremely difficult work protecting tenants from unsustainable rent increases, while also ensuring small property owners have the necessary resources to maintain their buildings and preserve high-quality, affordable homes for New Yorkers.”

“Finding the right balance is never easy, but I believe the board has done so this year — as evidenced by affirmative votes from both tenant and public representatives,” he said.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams asserted the increase “will only further exacerbate the [City’s] homelessness and housing crisis.”

“The Rent Guidelines Board’s vote to authorize rent increases, while on the lower end of the proposed ranges, will only further exacerbate the homelessness and housing crisis in our communities at a time when New Yorkers can least afford it,” Speaker Adams said. “As our city grapples with a record-high shelter population, an affordable housing shortage that remains unabated, and rising costs, New York City tenants increasingly struggle to make ends meet.”

Mayor Adams Ends 90-Day Rule for all Populations, Expands Eligibility to City-Funded Rental Assistance for all New Yorkers in Shelter

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week issued emergency rules eliminating the 90-day length-of-stay requirement for New Yorkers in shelter to be eligible for City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) housing vouchers.

The program established under the CityFHEPS rule allows individuals and families to rent apartments at competitive market-rate rents based on the annual New York City Housing Authority Section 8 Payment Standards. By eliminating the length of stay requirements in shelters through these emergency rules, additional households will be eligible to move out of shelter and into permanent housing.

Coming Up

New York State

Tuesday, June 27th

NYS Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, 540 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, 10:30 a.m.

New York City 


Monday, June 26th

Committee on Public Safety & Transportation and Infrastructure, Council Chambers, 10 a.m.

Oversight – Enforcement of Defaced, Fraudulent and Expired License Plates.

Committee on Civil and Human Rights, Committee Room – City Hall, 2 p.m.

Oversight – Expanding NYC Human Rights law Employment Protections Against Workforce Discrimination.


Wednesday, June 28th

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

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


Thursday, June 29th

Committee on Aging, Health & Hospitals, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m.

Oversight – Older Adults Living with HIV. 

Committee on Economic Development & Land Use, Council Chambers – City Hall, 11 a.m.

Oversight – Industrial Development Action Plans. 

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