May 17, 2024

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In the News-New York State

Comptroller DiNapoli Report Examines Child Poverty Trends

New York State’s child poverty rate is one of the worst in the nation, according to a new report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. New York was ranked 41st in the nation in 2022.

“A staggering number of children live in poverty in New York,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “… Despite unstable economic conditions during the pandemic, child poverty dropped by half because the government expanded programs to help families and children. When these measures expired, the problem got worse….”

According to the Comptroller, more than 2.7 million New Yorkers were living in poverty in 2022, and more than a quarter (735,742) were children. Under the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), 18.8% of New York’s children were in poverty in 2022. Almost half of all children living in poverty in the state are in deep poverty, meaning they are in a household with income that is 50% below the federal poverty line.

New York’s poverty rate was at least six percentage points higher than bordering states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. It is second highest among its five most populous peer states: California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania, with only Texas having a higher poverty rate.
The Comptroller noted that the recently enacted State Budget for State Fiscal Year 2024-25 includes measures that could have near-term impacts on the most severe pockets of child poverty in the state. These measures include a $50 million anti-poverty pilot program using federal funds for families with children living in concentrated areas of poverty in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. If this initiative is successful, Comptroller DiNapoli said, it could serve as model to fight child poverty statewide.

Senate Confirms Hochul Administration Appointees

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced the confirmations of two administration appointees by the Senate. Barbara Guinn has been confirmed as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden has been confirmed as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Barbara C. Guinn was appointed acting commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance in July 2023 and concurrently serves as executive deputy commissioner, a position she has held since March 2017. Before joining the agency, Guinn worked for the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Division of the Budget.

Guinn received her master’s degree in public administration from the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. She also has bachelor’s degrees in political science and business management from North Carolina State University.

Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden served as Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, within the County Executive’s office. Before joining the Westchester County Youth Bureau, Dr. Harris-Madden served in four mayoral cabinets in the City of Mount Vernon. She has served as a federal and local grant reviewer and a New York State 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program evaluator.

Dr. Harris-Madden has earned numerous degrees, including a B.A. in English and African American studies, a Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), a Master of Science in Human Resource Management (M.S. H.R.M.) and a Doctorate in Education and Executive Leadership (Ed. D.).

Bills Passed by Both Houses

A1234 Sponsored by AM Lupardo/Senator Hinchey — Clearly defines cannabis as an agricultural product and makes it eligible to receive an agricultural assessment along with other protections afforded in the Agricultural Districts law.

A4737B Sponsored by AM Lavine/Senator Persaud — Adds medical and health insurance information within the definitions of identity theft.

A4943A Sponsored by AM Epstein/Senator Krueger — Prohibit the sale or distribution of expanded polystyrene containers that are designed or intended to be used for cold storage.

A5311 Sponsored by AM Zebrowski/Senator May — Allows flexible, online code enforcement training programs for code enforcement personnel.

A7961 Sponsored by AM Rosenthal/Senator Salazar — Adds county fire-fighters and law enforcement officers outside of New York City to the list of individuals who may possess and administer epinephrine.

A8876 Sponsored by AM Pheffer Amato/Senator Jackson — Permits individuals within twelve months of meeting the minimum age or educational qualifications for a competitive   class civil service role to take the civil service examination for that position.

A8982A Sponsored by AM Fall/Senator Scarcella Spanton — Adjusts the base pilotage tariffs at Sandy Hook, Sands Point and Execution Rocks.

A9711 Sponsored by AM Zebrowski/Senator Krueger — Enacts the tropical rainforest economic & environmental sustainability act and establishes the supply chain transparency assistance program.

S204 Sponsored by Senator Cleare/AM Jean Pierre — Provides incarcerated individuals with access to breast cancer screenings and information about breast self-examinations.

S2747 Sponsored by Senator Bailey/AM Vanel — Directs the superintendent of state police to develop and institute child-sensitive arrest policies and procedures.

S3472 Sponsored by Senator Rivera/AM McDonald — Provides that health care plan participation by physicians shall be reported, for purposes of physician profiles, by the health care plans.

S8557 Sponsored by Senator Jackson/AM Pheffer-Amato — Relates to crediting of provisional time for promotional examinations.

S8600 Sponsored by Senator Ramos/AM Lunsford — Extends the effectiveness of certain provisions relating to the reciprocity of debarments.

In the News-New York City

City Independent Budget Office Estimates Budget Surpluses Exceeding the Adams Administration’s 2024 & 2025 Projections

The New York City Council isn’t the only one saying that New York City has more money than projected by the Adams Administration’s Executive Budget, as the City Independent Budget Office (IBO) this week released budget surplus estimates exceeding the 2024 and 2025 executive projections.

The higher 2024 surplus results from IBO’s forecast of approximately $129 million more in anticipated tax revenues and about $1.0 billion less in City spending than presented in the Executive Budget financial plan. With similar net tax and spending estimates as the Administration for 2025, using the 2024 surplus to pre-pay 2025 expenditures, IBO anticipates 2025 to also end with a surplus of around $1.1 billion.

Additional findings by the IBO include:

IBO Estimates Larger Gaps than Administration Starting in 2026

IBO’s projected gaps for 2026 ($6.2 billion) and 2028 ($6.0 billion) are well within the range that the City has closed in the past. IBO estimates a slightly larger gap of $7.9 billion in 2027 in part due to the Administration’s budgeted $1.0 billion in State funding for asylum seekers that the State has yet to commit to, which IBO estimates will be covered by City funds.

Local Economy Continues to Grow

Although down from its mid-2022 peak, inflation remains above target levels, resulting in the continued elevation of interest rates. Nevertheless, the national economy has shown resilience, as has the local economy. IBO projects continued strong local employment growth with over 91,000 new jobs added locally in 2024. The number of new jobs is expected to gradually slow as the labor market tightens.

IBO Forecasts Higher Tax Revenues Than Administration Starting in 2026

After the Administration revised its tax revenue forecasts upwards over the course of the fiscal year—up $1.9 billion in 2024 and $3.3 billion in 2025 compared with the November Plan forecast—the Administration’s estimates for total tax revenue in 2024 and 2025 are now very similar to IBO’s forecast. Starting in 2026, IBO’s tax revenue forecast anticipates stronger growth than the Administration, particularly for the personal income and sales taxes.

Savings in 2024 Mainly From Lower Citywide Staffing Costs, With Lower Expected Spending on Asylum Seeker Costs In 2025 and 2026

Nearly $800 million of IBO’s $1.0 billion estimate of lower spending in 2024 stems from its expectation of lower spending on Citywide staffing, based on year-to-date payroll trends. Across 2025 and 2026, IBO estimates almost $3.2 billion ($3.0 billion City funds) less in spending on asylum seekers than what is reflected in the Administration’s estimates.

IBO Estimates More Funding Needed for Staffing Costs in Several Uniformed Departments, Housing Vouchers, and Department of Education (DOE)

IBO anticipates substantially more funding will be needed, more than $605 million (all City funds) in 2025 for personnel costs across the uniformed agencies of Police, Sanitation, and Correction, largely to cover overtime costs. IBO estimates an additional $651 million will be needed from 2025 through 2027 to fully fund the current spending levels for the City Fighting Homeless and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) housing rental voucher program. To fund DOE programs previously funded by Federal Covid-19 aid, IBO estimates an additional $187 million will be needed in 2025 and $505 million in each of the following years.

Adams Administration Launches New Pilot Program to Combat Retail Theft & Improve Police-Community Relations

The Adams Administration is launching a new community-based security camera integration platform enabling businesses to voluntarily share information in real-time with the NYPD.

Fusus is a camera integration platform that allows private businesses to voluntarily elect to register or integrate their security cameras with their local NYPD precinct. Camera registration informs the NYPD where cameras are located in case a crime or incident occurs, and camera integration provides the NYPD with real-time access to camera feeds. Business owners who opt-in to integrate their cameras with the NYPD have the ability to choose how and when their cameras are accessible to the police department, such as exclusively when an emergency situation arises.

“New Yorkers don’t feel like things are working when everything from toothpaste to laundry detergent is locked up, and businesses across the five boroughs should be able to operate without fear of losing income because of retail theft. We cannot allow shoplifters and organized crime rings to prey on businesses any longer,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

In June 2023, the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and the NYPD’s Real-Time Crime Center partnered with Fusus to launch a proof-of-concept for the program in the 109th Precinct at no cost to the city. In collaboration with local retailers in the Flushing community, including the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID) and College Point BID, 35 businesses enrolled in the proof-of-concept to register or integrate their cameras with the NYPD.

Following the completion of the proof-of-concept phase, the NYPD established a one-year agreement with Fusus for $1.5 million to expand the program to nine additional precincts in all five boroughs. Deployment areas are being determined based on several factors, including community input, quality-of-life complaints, and crime data.

Businesses interested in participation or seeking further information can visit the NYPD’s Fusus pilot program online to sign up. There is no cost for businesses to participate in this initiative.


9/11 Museum Begins Free Mondays in June

Beginning June 3rd, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will offer free admission exclusively to New Yorkers on the first Monday of each month.

“As New Yorkers, we will continue to honor all those killed and to carry forward the inspiration, service and sense of community that must live on.  That’s the mission of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  And its our mission.  And we want it to be yours, too,” wrote the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Visionary Network Leadership Council in announcing MyFirstMondays.

The program runs through the end of the year. Reservations are required and a valid New York State ID is required for entry.

Empire Wind I Receives Final Approval

810MW Empire Offshore Wind Project Will Provide Enough Clean, Renewable Electricity for 388,000 New York Homes

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced that the New York State Public Service Commission granted Empire Offshore Wind, LLC its final approval, authorizing the project to begin construction on the 810MW offshore wind farm. 

The Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) authorized the construction and operation of transmission facilities for the delivery of electricity into New York from the 810-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm.  The project will create hundreds of construction jobs and spur investment in economic development statewide and continues progress towards achievement of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goals.

“We applaud Governor Hochul and the Public Service Commission for moving this critical project forward,” New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez said.       “Empire Wind is an example of renewable energy infrastructure that will prioritize union labor through the construction, operations, and maintenance jobs it produces. We need more of these projects as New York looks to meet its ambitious goals pursuant to the CLCPA, and we look forward to the Labor community being a significant part of that equation.”

NYC’s “Operation Padlock to Protect” Closes 75 Illegal Cannabis Shops & Cites Over 3,300 Violations

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week announced the results of week one of “Operation Padlock to Protect” — a multi-agency enforcement action to shut down illegal smoke and cannabis shops across the five boroughs. 

In the first week of enforcement, the New York City Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force — made up of members from the Sheriff’s Office, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) — sealed 75 locations and issued nearly $6 million in penalties. The Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force conducted operations on May 4th, 7th, 9th, and 11th.   

In its first week of operations, the Sherriff’s Joint Compliance Task Force conducted 150 inspections of unlicensed locations in the vicinity of schools or houses of worship allegedly selling cannabis, THC edibles, THC vape, untaxed cigarettes, flavored tobacco, flavored vapes, or other tobacco products in the confines of the NYPD’s eight borough commands. Inspections resulted in:  

  • 77 cease and desist orders and 75 shops sealed.  
  • 370 notices of violations holding 3,878 counts of violations across NYPD, DCWP, and the Sheriff’s Office.  
  • More than $5,960,000 in civil penalties issued.

Bills Passed by the City Council

Introduction 110-A Sponsored by Council Member Alexa Avilés — Requires the Mayor, or an agency designated by the Mayor, to provide an annual report to the Council on the implementation of the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. Under PACT, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) shifts its developments from traditional public housing funding, known as Section 9 funding, to project-based Section 8 funding.

Introduction 341-A Sponsored by Council Member Mercedes Narcisse — Amends the student health report, annually submitted to the Council by the Department of Education (DOE), to include reporting on the number of students with sickle cell disease or trait.

Coming Up

New York State*

*Assembly Committee Agendas were not released at time of publication


Monday, May 20th 

Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee Meeting, 512 LOB, 

11 a.m.

Senate Local Government Committee Meeting, 904 LOB, 11 a.m.

Senate Elections Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 11:30 a.m.

Senate Insurance Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 12:30 p.m.

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

New York State Assembly Session, 2 p.m. 


Tuesday, May 21st 

Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee Meeting, 123 CAP, 9:30 a.m.

Senate Banks Committee Meeting, 710 LOB, 10:30 a.m. 

Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Children and Families Committee Meeting, 804 LOB, 11 a.m.

Senate Finance Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 11 a.m.

Senate Cities 1 Committee Meeting, 411 LOB, 12 p.m.

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

New York State Assembly Session, TBA


Wednesday, May 22nd 

Senate Codes Committee Meeting, 123 CAP, 10 a.m.

Senate Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee Meeting, 945 LOB, 10 a.m.

Senate Civil Services and Pensions Meeting, 123 CAP, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Agriculture Committee Meeting, 901 LOB, 11 a.m.

Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 11 a.m.

Senate Libraries Committee Meeting, 612 LOB, 12 p.m.

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

New York State Assembly Session, TBA


Thursday, May 23rd 

New York State Senate Session, 11 a.m.

New York State Assembly Session, TBA

New York City


Monday, May 20th  

Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, Council Chambers – City Hall, 

9:30 a.m.

Committee on Finance, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 a.m.

Committee on Parks and Recreation, Council Chambers – City Hall, 12:30 p.m.


Tuesday, May 21st 

Committee on Finance, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 p.m.

Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations, 

Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 a.m.

Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings, and Dispositions, 

250 Broadway – Committee Room 14th Floor, 11 a.m.


Wednesday, May 22nd 

Committee on Finance, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 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.


Thursday, May 23rd 

Committee on Finance, Council Chamber – City Hall, 10 a.m.

City Council Stated Meeting, Council Chamber – City Hall, 1:30 p.m.

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