June 28, 2019

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In the News – State

NYS and Israel Innovation Authority Enter Partnership to Foster Economic Development

Governor Andrew Cuomo this week announced a $2 million partnership agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority for two new programs that will further strengthen economic development ties between New York State and Israel.   The partnership announcement was part of an economic summit held during the Governor’s Israel Solidarity and Trade mission.

Empire State Development will sign a Declaration of Intent with the Israel Innovation Authority to cooperate on co-development and commercialization in the fields of cybersecurity, supply chain, smart cities, energy, unmanned aerial vehicles, and life sciences. As part of the agreement, New York State and Israel will establish a Smart Cities Innovation Partnership, a new initiative that will share technologies, research, talent, and business resources between cities in New York and Israel. 

The Governor also announced that New York State’s Hot Spot and Incubator programs will now implement a new focus on Israeli companies who want to invest in the Empire State.

“… The future of New York is going to be growth in the tech sector, and this joint venture between New York and Israel will develop new opportunities that allow both economies to thrive even further,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in our State and across the nation, we are here to say how sad, embarrassed and disgusted we are with these incidents, and that we will not let it stand. We will get over this ugly period of division and hatred, and one of the ways to do that is by continuing to develop this deep cultural, political and economic relationship.”

Declaration of Intent with Israel Innovation Authority 

Empire State Development and the Israel Innovation Authority will sign a Declaration of Intent in which the State of New York and the Government of Israel pledge to:

  • Facilitate access for New York and Israeli startups and companies to accelerators and incubators in both places (including but not limited to the New York Hot Spot and Incubator Program);
  • Facilitate collaboration aiming to develop a “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership,” to which New York and Israel will contribute an equivalent amount of matching resources, and will provide adequate pilot and validation sites for the participating companies in both States addressing the strategic concerns of both States such as cybersecurity, supply chain, energy, health, transportation, wastewater, water, civic engagement, parks, public works and safety;
  • Issue joint solicitations for Innovation projects and organizing activities for entities from the State of Israel and New York State that promote cooperation in Innovation between entities from the State of Israel and from New York State; and
  • Establish a working group to explore these and other ways to work together on the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership and other innovation programs.

Smart Cities Innovation Partnership 

The Smart Cities Innovation Partnership will issue a grant to establish five Smart Cities in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions in New York and test bed sites in Israel. 

Empire State Development and the Israel Innovation Authority will each issue a $2 million grant to support the Smart Cities Innovation Partnership.  In each city, areas will be designated to serve as a testbed for one of the following purposes: new and emerging technology; cybersecurity; supplier chain; real time monitoring of utilities; removing water contaminants; testing UAS and/or autonomous vehicles; and traffic flow systems.

New York State’s Hot Spot and Incubator Programs to Focus on Israeli Companies 

New York State’s Hot Spot and Incubator programs, a $5.125 million program, will implement a new focus on Israeli companies. The program provides support to numerous technology sectors, including cybersecurity, UAS/drones, bio technology, life sciences, clean energy, energy efficiency and the prioritization of MWBE inclusion.  Incubators and Hot Spots will also work with SUNY and CUNY to develop training opportunities for students and other collaborations.

Chapters of the Laws of 2019

Chapter 39 – Sponsored by Senator Krueger/M of A Weinstein – Amends Various Laws, generally Relates to the reporting of performance metrics by the MTA of all services provided by New York city transit authority subways and Long Island rail road and Metro-North commuter railroad trains (Part A); relates to the description of the central business district (Part B); relates to the MTA’s reorganization plan (Part C); relates to removing caps on automated enforcement cameras for bus lanes; bus lane photo devices (Part D); relates to the membership of the metropolitan transportation authority; one member may be the director of the division of budget (Part E); relates to switching from the STAR tax exemption to the STAR tax credit (Part G); establishes the empire state entertainment diversity job training development fund (Subpart A); and modifies the definition of a qualified film production facility (Subpart B)(Part H); exempts from tax a portion of global intangible low-taxed income (Part I); modifies the definition of vendor and marketplace provider and increases the cumulative total of a person’s gross receipts from sales of property delivered in the state from three hundred thousand to one million dollars (Part J); relates to issuance of bonds and notes; relates to capital grants (Part K); extends the award dates for authorized amounts to be awarded pursuant to applications submitted in response to the request for application number 17648 to September 1, 2019 (Part L); relates to the definition of an authorized entity that may utilize design-build contracts (Part M); makes technical corrections to the “Jose Peralta New York state DREAM act” (Part N); relates to mass transit access for LaGuardia airport (Part O); limits the rate of interest on any judgment or accrued claim against the authority arising out of condemnation proceedings to six percent (Part P); relates to making certain technical corrections to chapter 36 of the laws of 2019 relating to rent control (Part Q); relates to the operational expenses of certain gaming facilities (Part R); relates to video lottery gaming in Orange county (Part S); & increases the number of supreme court judges and county court judges in certain jurisdictions (Part T). 

Chapter 41 – Sponsored by M of A Glick/Senator Salazar – Extends and expands the opportunity to file an application under New York City’s loft law.

Chapter 42 – Sponsored by Senate Myrie/M of A Taylor Ensure that the timeframe for political parties to meet and organize their county committees would fit within the new political calendar necessitated by a newly combined state and federal June primary.

In the News – City

Port Authority Proposes Adjustment to Tolls, Fares & Fees as Part of Revised Capital Plan

The Port Authority of NY & NJ Board of Commissioners this week proposed a round of toll increases and adjustments for the Authority’s transportation services.   The adjustments include toll increases for the agency’s six bridges and tunnels; changes to the PATH’s fare structure; increases in AirTrain fares; and a new airport ground transportation access fee.

The fees are part of the Authority’s “reassessment” of its 2017-2026 $32.2 billion Capital Plan, which includes $4.8 billion in additional spending. According to the Authority, approximately             $4.5 billion of the increase is projected to be funded by additional non-toll and non-fare revenues, including revenue increases from the following: terminal rents; airline cost recoveries; user fees; anticipated receipt of passenger facility charges; and Sandy recovery and airport improvement grants associated with certain projects.

The tolls, fares, and fee adjustments include:

Bridges and Tunnels: (which include the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge) The cash/toll by mail rate for cars during all hours will increase by $1.00 from $15.00 to $16.00 at the beginning of 2020. The E-ZPass peak discount for cars will be reduced from $2.50 to $2.25; and the E-ZPass off-peak discount will be reduced from $4.50 to $4.25. The proposed toll schedule will take effect on January 5, 2020.

PATH:  The base fare will remain at $2.75. The discount for multi-trip purchases will be preserved but be reduced. The per-ride price for multi-trip purchases (10-trip, 20-trip or 40-trip options) will be adjusted to $2.50 on November 1, 2019 and $2.60 a year late.

AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark:  The fare will rise from $5.00 and $5.50 to $7.75, effective November 1, 2019

Ground Transportation Fee:  A proposed $4.00 ground transportation access fee on for-hire vehicles and taxis would be implemented.

Highlights of the “reassessment” of the Port Authority’s now $37 billion 2017-2026 Capital Plan includes:

  • A new AirTrain Newark and additional dollars for AirTrain LGA, both projected to be funded by incremental project-related revenue.
  • The addition of three new projects: the PATH Improvement Plan, electric vehicle infrastructure, and planning for a new Terminal Two at Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • Adjustments to the Capital Plan regarding JFK Redevelopment and Newark Terminal One to take account of prior Board actions and funded by incremental project-related revenue.

The Port Authority will hold six public hearings at multiple locations in New York and New Jersey. Written comments on the proposed actions also may be submitted via the Port Authority website through the end of the public comment period on September 13.


Hearing #1 July 16, 8:00 am 4 WTC 150 Greenwich St, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10007
Hearing #2 July 17, 8:00 am 2 Montgomery 2 Montgomery St, 3rd Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Hearing #3 July 18, 7:00 pm EWR Terminal One Redevelopment Outreach Office 79 West Jersey St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Hearing #4 July 22, 7:00 pm  College of Staten Island 2800 Victory Blvd, Williamson Theatre, Staten Island, NY 10314
Hearing #5 July 29, 7:00 pm Hilton Hasbrouck Heights 650 Terrace Ave, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
Hearing #6 July 30, 7:00 pm JFK Building 14 Building 14, 3rd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11430


Bills Approved by the City Council

Introduction 5-B, sponsored by Council Member Inez Barron, would require that restaurants in New York City display information messaging on healthy eating for individuals with diet-related conditions including, but not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. This legislation would require DOHMH to conduct a one-year outreach campaign to ensure restaurants are aware of their requirements under this bill, before the penalty provisions take effect. 

Introduction 1009-A, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would require the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to provide an automated external defibrillator (AED) at every large swimming pool facility under its jurisdiction, and require that at least one DPR employee trained to use an AED be present during all hours of pool operation. 

Introduction 1042-A, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would permit the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation to distribute any extra automated external defibrillators (AED) they have to additional youth sports leagues after they have first fulfilled their obligation to provide AEDs to youth baseball and softball leagues. 

Introduction 1331-B, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would require the Department of Investigation (DOI) to issue an annual report to the Council on total overtime hours recorded and total overtime paid to NYCHA employees for the prior calendar year. The bill would also direct DOI to issue an annual report to the Council on any small procurement contracts, as defined by NYCHA procurement rules, awarded during the prior year, including an analysis regarding whether any housing development may have awarded small procurement contracts to avoid compliance with NYCHA procurement rules.  

Introduction 1513-A, sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala, would ensure that individuals in the THU not only have the same access to mental health treatment as do individuals housed elsewhere, but also that all health professionals treating individuals who are transgender have specialized training in transgender and gender-affirming care. 

Introduction 1514-A, sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala, would require that those housed in the THU be afforded the same access to substance use treatment as those housed outside such a unit. Passage of this law will ensure that transgender individuals never again have to choose between receiving appropriate substance-use treatment and living in a transgender housing unit. 

Introduction 1530-A, sponsored by Council Member Francisco Moya, would require the department to issue an incident-level report to the Council and to the BOC on housing requests made related to gender-identity on a biannual basis, and to issue an aggregate report to the public on an annual basis. This legislation will bring greater transparency into the application and appeals process for those who seek housing within the DOC that is responsive to their gender identity.  

Introduction 1535-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require the BOC to convene a taskforce composed of representatives of DOC, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV), NYC Unity, Correctional Health Services, formerly incarcerated individuals, local service providers, local and national experts on TGNCNB and intersex policy, and people who were formerly incarcerated in the THU, to the extent practicable. 

Introduction 1549, sponsored by Council Member Francisco Moya, would rename 126th Street between Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, Seaver Way, and amend the official City map accordingly. Tom Seaver is a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball pitcher who played 20 seasons total, and twelve for the Mets from 1967 to 1977 and again in 1983. He is one of only two pitchers in the history of baseball to have 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and a career ERA of under 3.00, and he was instrumental in the Mets’ victory over the Orioles the 1969 World Series. 

Introduction 1619, sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides, would make several technical amendments to Local law 97 of 2019, including defining capacity resource and amending the definitions of the terms city building, clean distributed energy resource, covered building, distributed energy resource, financial hardship (of a building), and rent regulated accommodation. 


Attorney General James Challenges Trump Administration Rule That Endangers The Rights Of Millions Of Workers

Attorney General Letitia James this week co-led a group of 19 attorneys general in a comment letter opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule that would narrow the interpretation of joint employment.  The Attorneys General asserted the rule would complicate how states enforce labor laws and leave millions of workers vulnerable to labor violations. The coalition was co-led by the attorneys general of New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.  

In the comment letter submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the attorneys general assert that USDOL’s proposed rule changing the interpretation of joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is too narrow and draws on outdated analysis that does not consider the changing nature of today’s workplace relationships.

Under USDOL’s proposed rule, joint employment would be determined by whether an employer hires or fires the employee, supervises and controls the employee’s schedule and working conditions, determines the employee’s rate and method of payment, and maintains the employee’s records. 

The attorneys general contend that DOL’s proposed rule does not reflect today’s workplace relationships, where businesses increasingly share employees using third-party management companies, independent contractors, staffing agencies, or other labor providers. 

Alphonso David To Depart Cuomo Administration

JUN 25TH – 1:34 PM

Alphonso David, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Chief Counsel, will depart the administration to become president of the Human Rights Campaign.   

“For the last 12 years, Alphonso David has fought day and night to create a better New York, helping to enact real change and increasing rights for all residents of this great state,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. 

“As a key member of this administration and before that as part of my staff at the Attorney General’s office, he had always served with compassion, dignity, intelligence, and a virtually unrivaled work ethic. Make no mistake New Yorkers are better off today because of his years of public service and we will miss him tremendously. I wish him the best on this new and exciting chapter and am proud to consider him always a part of Team Cuomo.”

Prior to serving as counsel, David worked as a Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights and served as a staff attorney at Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 

City Board Votes in Favor of Hikes for Rent-Stabilized Apartments

New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board this week voted 5-4 to increase rent for rent-stabilized apartment buildings.   The vote allows a 1.5 percent increase on one-year leases and a 2.5 percent increase on two-year leases.

The increases will impact tenants whose leases start on or after October 1 of this year and reflect the same levels that the board approved last year.

In its preliminary vote in May, the board called for 5 percent to 2.75 percent increase on one-year leases and a 1.75 to 3.75 percent increase on two-year leases.  

Landlords proposed a 3.75 to 5.75 percent increase on one-year leases and a 4.75 to 6.75 increase on two-year leases. Tenants proposed a half-percent increase for one-years and a 0 to 1 percent increase for two-years.

The Rent Guidelines Board said they based their votes on research into the costs of running buildings, as well as the costs of living in New York City and the supply of housing.

City Board Votes in Favor of Hikes for Rent-Stabilized Apartments

Staten Island Bay Street Rezoning

The City Council this week approved a comprehensive plan for the Bay Street Corridor in Staten Island.    Council Member Debi Rose secured more than $100 million is new City funding for the various projects and initiatives.  

Projects include:   

  • More than 1,800 new homes are projected for the corridor, with more than 450 homes permanently affordable through Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. In addition, HPD has committed to financing more than 100% affordable housing on city-owned sites, bringing 850 more affordable homes.
  • Cromwell Recreation Center will be fully reconstructed at the site of Lyons Pool.  
  • Completion of the Tompkinsville Esplanade, creating a continuous waterfront esplanade between Lighthouse Point and the New Stapleton Waterfront. 
  • Major renovations to Stapleton Playground. 
  • Repairs to Tappen Park, including improvements to historic Village Hall. 
  • SCA will build a new public school at the New Stapleton Waterfront and a new elementary school at 155 Tompkins Avenue.  
  • DOT is investing $39 million in pedestrian and intersection improvements along the Corridor.  
  • $15 million to upgrade sanitary sewers in and around the Bay Street rezoning area, plus another $45 million for new sewers, streets and utilities at the New Stapleton Waterfront.  
  • A comprehensive drainage plan and a storm-water management study will plan for future sea-level rise.  

CUNY Approves $200 Annual Tuition Increase

The City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees this week voted 9-2 to approve an annual tuition increase of $200 for its senior colleges. 

State law allows for $200 tuition increases every year over current rates for full-time undergraduate resident students and proportional increases in graduate, doctoral, nonresident and per-credit rates at senior colleges. The current annual tuition for full-time students at senior colleges is $6,730 and $4,800 at community colleges.

In its 2020 budget request, CUNY indicated its current baseline costs will increase by $129.1 million in FY 2020 — $93.9 million at the senior colleges and $35.1 million at the community colleges, according to published reports.  Those amounts include “contractually required incremental salary increases, fringe benefit expenses and building rental and energy cost increases.” 

Last week the State University of New York (SUNY) announced tuition will go up $200, or by 3%, for the 2019-20 school year at the 29 State University of New York campuses.    Its Board of Trustees also agreed to allow for another $150 a year in new fees at its four university centers and $25 in new fees at its other state-run colleges to “support student services and ongoing operations.”

It is the third year in a row SUNY has increased tuition by the highest allowable amount under state law.   Tuition will go from $6,870 to $7,070 for the upcoming year on its state-run campuses.

PANYNJ and LMDC Ask for Proposals for World Trade Center Site 5

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced a joint Request for Proposals for World Trade Center Site 5 this week. The RFP asks that respondents submit proposals for the redevelopment of the last remaining WTC property. Both commercial and mixed-use proposals will be accepted. 

The deadline to submit any proposal is September 20th, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. Questions may be submitted until July 26th and a site tour and information session will be held on July 11th

You can access the RFP here and the ad in the New York State Contract Reporter here

Coming Up

New York State

The Legislature is not in session 

New York City

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