May 3, 2024

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In the News-New York City

  Governor Hochul Highlights Statewide Efforts to Improve Maternal and Infant Health

New York Becomes First State in the Nation to Create Paid Leave Program for Prenatal Care; Separate from Existing 12 Weeks of Paid Family Leave

FY 2025 Enacted Budget Eliminates Out-Of-Pocket Costs for Certain Pregnancy-Related Benefits for New Yorkers on Essential Plan, Qualified Health Plans

Maternal Mental Health Initiatives Receive $1.6 Million in New Resources in FY 2025 Enacted Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul this week highlighted New York State’s status as the first state in the nation to enact a stand-alone prenatal leave policy as part of the FY 2025 Enacted Budget. 

As part of her broader plan to improve maternal and infant mortality, the Governor also established statewide Medicaid coverage for doulas, created the state’s first doula directory to assist pregnant New Yorkers seeking support, and has taken steps to eliminate cost-sharing for certain pregnancy-related benefits for those enrolled in the state’s Essential Plan or Qualified Health Plans.

“We’re prioritizing maternal and infant health because every family deserves a healthy start in life,” Governor Hochul said. “Every mother deserves to feel joy and excitement, not fear and trepidation as she brings life into the world. When all families have the care and support they need to thrive, our potential as a state is limitless.”

Maternal Health Care
Via a separate sick leave bank for prenatal care,  employees are now able to receive an additional 20 hours of paid sick leave for prenatal care in addition to the existing sick leave.

The FY 2025 Budget also includes financial incentives for hospitals to reduce the number of unnecessary C-sections as part of Governor Hochul’s Maternal and Infant Health Care agenda.   

The State is also establishing new oversight measures to identify physicians whose behavior is out of line with clinical best practices.

Expanding Access to Doulas
The Enacted Budget invests $250,000 to establish a grant program to expand access to community-based doulas. The grant program will help recruit, train, support and mentor community-based doulas – especially those in historically vulnerable communities. The Budget also authorizes the Commissioner of Health to issue a statewide standing order for doula services, expanding access for all birthing parents.

Maternal Mental Health
Governor Hochul secured $1.6 million for maternal mental health initiatives in the FY 2025 Enacted Budget to ensure that service providers engaging pregnant and postpartum women are equipped to provide the best care. Specialized training is being developed for counselors staffing the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, so they can better provide compassionate care, support, and necessary resources to mothers and birthing parents who experience mental health distress.

Project TEACH
The State Office of Mental Health is also expanding Project TEACH so that a wider range of front-line practitioners – including therapists, lactation consultants, WIC staff, home visiting nurses, and others – can provide mental health support to pregnant and postpartum New Yorkers. 

Protections for Employees Expressing Breast Milk
The FY 2025 Enacted Budget ensures that employers provide paid break time for employees who are nursing for up to three years following child birth. This ensures that no employer can discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace.

Governor Hochul Nominates Walter Mosley as New York’s 69th Secretary of State

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced the nomination of Walter T. Mosley to serve as New York’s 69th Secretary of State. Mr. Mosley served for nearly a decade in the New York State Assembly.

“The Department of State plays a critical role implementing a broad array of government services, from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative to the Office for New Americans,” Governor Hochul said. “Walter Mosley’s public service in the New York State Assembly and his years of leadership in his community have given him the skills and experience necessary to lead this Department into the future.”

Upon confirmation by the New York State Senate, Mr. Mosley will begin his tenure as New York’s next Secretary of State.

Mr. Mosley served in the New York State Assembly from 2013 to 2020, representing communities in central Brooklyn including the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. Mr. Mosley was a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus (BPHA), the Hispanic Task Force, and the Jewish Caucus. He also served as co-chair of BPHA’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Task Force on Cannabis. In his capacity as a BPHA Caucus member, Mr. Mosley served as Second Vice-chair and as the Budget Chair.

Prior to becoming a member of the New York Legislature, Mr. Mosley served as a Legislative Analyst and Oversight Investigator for the New York City Council, Senior Consultant to the State Assembly, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly.

Mr. Mosley received a Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and received a law degree from Howard University. 

In the News-New York City 

Mayor Adams Launches NYC’s First Climate Budgeting Process

In his FY2025 Executive Budget, New York City Mayor Eric Adams adopted a climate change budget approach, integrating climate consideration into the City of New York’s decision-making for the first time.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) included the inaugural climate budgeting publication within the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Executive Budget. 

According to the Administration, climate budgeting is a process that incorporates science-based climate considerations into the budget decision-making process by evaluating how actions and spending today contribute to meeting longer-term climate targets and needs. The process will allow New York City to understand the climate impact of the dollars New York City spends, identify where more effort is needed to tackle climate change, and promote forward-looking investments.  

New York City is the first big city in the United States to adopt climate budgeting, joining other global cities, such as London, Oslo, and Mumbai, to utilize the process. 

OMB assessed the City’s progress toward climate goals and needs, including the first annual forecasts of citywide and city government emissions through 2050 and assessment of projects in the city’s capital commitment plan for alignment with net-zero emissions and resiliency goals. 

The process also initiates a requirement that climate data be provided for capital projects and all relevant agency funding requests.   Moving forward, all proposed sustainability and resiliency investments will be reviewed to prioritize for impact and cost-effectiveness.

Key findings from the first climate budgeting cycle include:

  • The City’s is on track to achieve “science-based” emissions targets in 2030, with additional effort required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.  
  • Private building emissions limits through Local Law 97 are the most impactful action the city is taking, followed by the Green Rides program to electrify for-hire vehicles.  
  • New York City government is on track to meet and exceed its own Local Law 97 targets in 2030 through planned investments in energy efficiency, building and fleet electrification.  
  • City action, supported by state commitments to transition to a 100 percent clean electric grid and away from gas-powered vehicles, is key to achieving long-term goals.
  • Capital projects that include funding for fossil fuel-powered generators, vehicles, and heating and hot water systems, present key opportunities for the city to continuously evaluate the feasibility of greener alternatives, such as electrification, battery storage, and electric vehicles. 

The FY25 Executive Budget supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions from city facilities by accelerating $1.06 billion into the FY24-FY28 Capital Commitment Plan.  It also supports a strategic electrification plan for city-owned and -operated facilities.

New York Rent Board Approves Preliminary Increase of up to 4.5 % over one year

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) issued proposed guidelines of  rent increases of up to 4.5% over one year on the City’s approximately 1 million rent-regulated apartments and up to 6.5% for two-year leases.

The panel, appointed by the mayor and comprised of both tenant and landlord advocates, voted 5-2 to raise rents between 2 and 4.5 percent on one-year leases and 4 and 6.5 percent on two-year leases beginning in October.

Mayor Adams indicated that the preliminary ranges are too high, going “far beyond what is reasonable to ask tenants to take on at this time.”

“Tenants are feeling the squeeze of a decades-long affordability crisis, which has been accelerated by restrictive zoning laws and inadequate tools that have made it harder and harder to build housing,” the Mayor explained.  “Our team is taking a close look at the preliminary ranges voted on by the Rent Guidelines Board this evening and while the Board has the challenging task of striking a balance between protecting tenants from infeasible rent increases and ensuring property owners can maintain their buildings as costs continue to rise, I must be clear that a 6.5 percent increase goes far beyond what is reasonable to ask tenants to take on at this time. I know well that small property owners also face growing challenges, and I encourage them to work with the city to utilize our many preservation tools so that, together, we can work to stabilize buildings and neighborhoods, all while keeping tenants in their homes.”

According to published reports, the two landlord representatives on the board argued the rent increases approved in recent years have not kept up with rising costs.  They proposed rent hikes between 6 and 8 percent on one-year leases, and between 9 and 11 percent on two-year leases.   

Operating costs rose by 3.9 percent between April 2023 and this past March, according to a survey of landlord expenses, published reports cited.

Last year, the panel approved a 3 percent increase for one-year leases.  On two-year leases, the board permitted a 2.75 percent increase in the first year and 3.2 percent in the second.

The board will cast its final vote in June.


JFK Airport Construction Sets Record MWBE Participation With $2.3 Billion in Contracts Awarded

Governor Kathy Hochul this week announced that a record $2.3 billion in contracts have been awarded to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) as part of the JFK International Airport redevelopment project. This is the largest participation of MWBE firms on any public-private partnership project in New York State history. 

According to the Governor, with construction of new airport facilities fully underway, MWBE participation at JFK will continue to break records until the redevelopment is substantially complete in 2028.    The JFK redevelopment project has awarded more than $950 million in contracts to Queens-based businesses to date.

With the announcement, JFK surpasses the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, which set the previous New York State record for MWBE participation in a public-private project with $2.2 billion in contracts awarded. 

To date, 680 MWBEs have been awarded contracts at JFK along with more than 200 businesses based in Queens.   The Port Authority is working closely with its private terminal developer partners – the New Terminal One, Delta Air Lines and JFKIAT, JFK Millennium Partners, and American Airlines – to engage minority and women-owned businesses along with local businesses in the redevelopment program. 

Attorney General James Sues NCAA for Imposing Unfair Restrictions on Student Athletes’ Careers

Multistate Lawsuit Argues NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Rule Limits Student Athletes’ Earnings and Restricts Competition Among Universities

New York Attorney General Letitia James has joined a bipartisan multistate coalition in a lawsuit to challenge the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) restrictions on prospective student athletes’ ability to earn money and benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The NCAA’s NIL rule prevents student athletes from reviewing NIL compensation offers before enrolling in a school, restricting students from fully understanding the options available to them before making a decision.

The NCAA’s NIL rule prevents student athletes from reviewing NIL compensation offers before enrolling in a school, restricting students from fully understanding the options available to them before making a decision. The lawsuit alleges that the NCAA’s NIL rule reduces competition among universities and limits student athletes’ earnings and their ability to choose a college that meets their athletic and career goals.

Joining Attorney General James in this lawsuit are the attorneys general of Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

 Gateway Tunnel Project to Support More Jobs Than Expected

Work on the $16 billion Gateway Tunnel Project, which connects New York and New Jersey, will support 20,000 more jobs than previously expected with a new target of 95,000 jobs.  

Based on early work on the tunnels, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) revised the estimate, noting that construction has already begun on both sides of the Hudson River, and a new phase of “heavy” construction is set to begin later this summer.   The original estimate was based upon a 2017 environmental impact study.

The RPA report also suggests the region consider expanding programs, similar to New York’s Pathways to Apprenticeship, to recruit and train people from low-income communities.

FY 2025 Budget:  Squatters No Longer Afforded Tenant Rights

New York’s FY2025 budget agreement, signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul this week, specifically excludes squatters from tenant protections under State Law.

The legislative change now clearly states that “a tenant shall not include a squatter,” thereby stripping squatters of their tenant rights, and making it easier for police to remove them without forcing the owner to resolve the issue in housing court.

The law previously allowed squatters to claim tenants’ rights after residing on the property for 30 days without needing proof of a lease.

Bills Signed by the Mayor

Intro. 127-A — Sponsored by Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli — Requires the provision of body armor to all EMS employees who provide emergency medical services. The body armor must meet ballistic and stab resistance standards of the national institute of justice. FDNY already provides body armor to all EMS employees upon the completion of their training and offers replacements when members make a request.

Intro. 127-A — Sponsored by Council Minority Leader Borelli — Requires the provision of de-escalation and self-defense training to all EMS employees at least once every three years. The training will address the unique characteristics of emergency medical services, with a focus on violent situations in the context of patient care. FDNY provides extensive de-escalation and self-defense training to all members during probationary training. 

Coming Up

New York State

Monday, May 6th 

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

New York State Assembly Session, 2 p.m. (Tuesday and Wednesday are TBD)

Senate Crime Victims, Crime, and Correction Committee Meeting, 123 CAP, 11 a.m.

Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee Meeting, 816 LOB, 11:30 a.m.

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

Senate Finance Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 12 p.m.

Senate Local Government Committee Meeting, 904 LOB, 12 p.m.


Tuesday, May 7th  

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

Senate Children and Families Committee Meeting, 804 LOB, 9:30 a.m.

Senate Women’s Issues Committee Meeting, 801 LOB, 9:30 a.m.

Senate Labor Committee Meeting, 308 LOB, 10 a.m.

Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 10 a.m.

Senate Social Services Committee Meeting, 410 LOB, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Meeting, 611 LOB, 10:30 a.m.

Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 11 a.m.

Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Meeting, 123 CAP, 11 a.m.

Senate Cities 1 Committee Meeting, 411 LOB, 11:30 a.m.

Senate Higher Education Committee Meeting, 912 LOB, 11:30 a.m.

Senate Banks Committee Public Hearing

Exploring unequal access to loans in New York’s mortgage banking and credit industry.

Hearing Room A, 2nd Fl. 182 State Street, 11:30 a.m.

Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee Meeting, 123 CAP, 12 p.m.

Senate Health Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 12 p.m.

Senate Internet and Technology Committee Meeting, 816 LOB, 12:30 p.m.


Wednesday, May 8th

New York State Senate Session, 11 a.m.

Senate Alcoholism and Substance Use Disorders Committee Meeting, 813 LOB, 9:30 a.m.

Senate Codes Committee Meeting, 124 CAP, 9:30 a.m.

Friday, May 10th

Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Public Hearing

Oversight of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, major Port Authority capital projects including the JFK redevelopment and Port Authority Bus Terminal replacement, and Port Authority contracting. Senate Hearing Room 250 Broadway, 10 a.m.

New York City


Monday, May 6th  

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

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


Tuesday, May 7th  

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

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


Wednesday, May 8th

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9 a.m.

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

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

Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings, and Dispositions, 250 Broadway – Committee Room 14th Floor, 12 p.m.

Committee on Land Use, 250 Broadway – Committee Room 14th Floor, 12:30 p.m.


Thursday, May 9th

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

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


Friday, May 10th 

Committee on Children and Youth, Council Chambers – City Hall, 9:30 a.m.

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

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