May 31, 2024

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In the News-New York State

Governor Hochul Unveils NY’s First-Ever Youth Workers Bill of Rights

Governor Kathy Hochul tasked the New York State Department of Labor with developing the Youth Workers Bill of Rights in partnership with the New York State Education Department, detailing essential rights and protections for every youth worker including minimum wage, tips, and balancing work and school.

According to the Governor, the Youth Workers Bill of Rights seeks to educate first time workers as they prepare to enter the labor market by explaining the rights all NY workers enjoy as well as the protections that are specific to workers under 18. 

The Bill of Rights will be distributed to every young worker upon receiving their working papers. It will be available in various formats, including a print pocket guide available in schools and NYSDOL Career Centers for easy reference, a downloadable poster for educators and administrative staff to hang in schools, and online for broad accessibility.

The Youth Workers Bill of Rights is available online at NYSDOL’s new Youth Worker Information Hub. This hub seeks to be an educational resource for young people as they prepare to enter the workforce and includes information on permitted working hours during the school day, how to be sure they are being paid the correct minimum wage, and a full list of prohibited occupations for children under the age of 18.

Bills Passed by Both Houses

A589A Sponsored by AM Rosenthal/Senator Rivera — Requires the Division of Housing and Community Renewal to publish on its website a database of building-wide major capital improvements installed by landlords in every city of more than one million inhabitants.

A1745A Sponsored by AM Dinowitz/Senator Comrie — Strengthens provisions relating to complaint handling procedures by the Public Service Commission.

A2487A Sponsored by AM Hevesi/Senator Stavisky — Allows severely disabled individuals to apply for renewal of a parking permit for a handicapped person without providing an updated certification or additional medical documents.

A2885A Sponsored by AM Rosenthal/Senator Gounardes — Requires that functional epinephrine auto-injector devices be made available in places of public assembly and that at least one employee or volunteer be trained in its proper operation and use and be present at each facility function.

A3710 Sponsored by AM Rajkumar/Senator Scarcella-Spanton — Provides employment protections during the performance of state active duty by members of the National Guard.

A4904 Sponsored by AM Gibbs/Senator Salazar — Directs the State Commission of Correction to promulgate rules and regulations for strip searches in correctional facilities which, at a minimum, include a requirement that no fewer than two staff members shall be present for any strip search.

A7173 Sponsored by AM Jean-Pierre/Senator Scarcella-Spanton — Directs all state agencies to designate a veterans’ liaison to provide information and assistance to veterans regarding benefits.

A9123 Sponsored by AM Cruz/Senator Parker — Requires the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to develop recommendations regarding the establishment of microgrids.

A9186A Sponsored by AM Dilan/Senator Cleare — Provides for the return of any identification materials to an individual upon release from custody.

A9349 Sponsored by AM Pheffer Amato/Senator Jackson — Provides that the State Civil Service Department shall review and update the questions contained within the examination, as deemed appropriate by the department, no less than every five years.

A9516 Sponsored by AM Pheffer Amato/Senator Jackson — Extends provisions related to public arbitration panels until 2029.

S1974A Sponsored by Senator Ramos/AM Bronson — Establishes criteria where a workers compensation claimant shall  not be required to obtain prescribed medicines through a pharmacy with which the employer  or  carrier  has  a  contract  and  may  obtain prescribed medicines from a pharmacy of his or her choice.

S7114A Sponsored by Senator Rivera/AM O’Donnell — Requires health insurance plans to provide coverage for epinephrine auto-injector devices; caps the cost to an insured at $100 per year.

2024 Legislative Session Calendar

June 3rd – 6th Scheduled Session Days

June 6th – 9th Belmont Festival at Saratoga

In the News-New York City

 Comptroller DiNapoli: NYC FY 2025 Budget Balanced With Strong Revenues and Cost Savings

Higher-than-projected revenue and cost-saving initiatives have helped New York City’s fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget generate a projected year-end surplus of $3.9 billion that will be used to prepay expenses for the next fiscal year, helping the City balance its FY 2025 executive budget, according to a report released  by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Still, Comptroller DiNapoli cautions that budget gaps are likely to be larger-than-anticipated by the City in the coming years.

The Comptroller noted that strong revenue results allowed the New York City to reduce its initial cost-cutting target of nearly 15% of agency spending through the “Program to Eliminate the Gap” (PEG) and restore some service cuts. As a result, the City has restored $73 million in FY 2024 and an average of more than $200 million annually beginning in FY 2025.

New York City has generated substantial savings from the reinstatement of the PEG, with projected net savings of $2.6 billion in FY 2024, $2.3 billion in FY 2025, and an average of nearly $2.2 billion in the out-years, according to the report. The City has also identified $2.3 billion in asylum seeker savings over FY 2024 and FY 2025, due in part to changes to city shelter policies.

Comptroller DiNapoli noted that the City continues to exclude or underbudget for spending that is likely to require additional funding. Funding for public assistance enrollment growth, the school class size mandate, the expansion of the CityFHEPS rental assistance program, as well as subsidies for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and overtime, are expected to add $3.1 billion in budget risks in FY 2025, rising to $12.9 billion by FY 2028.

According to Comptroller DiNapoli, the city is facing budget gaps of $2.9 billion in FY 2025, $10.9 billion in FY 2026, $13.4 billion in FY 2027 and $17.4 billion in FY 2028, inclusive of slightly higher revenue projections than the City.

He expressed caution regarding the outyears as commercial property market vacancies have reached their highest levels in 30 years and white collar hiring for office jobs has declined in recent months.

Commission Announces Key Staff Appointments

The New York City Charter Revision Commission (CRC) this week held its inaugural meeting and announced key leadership positions.  Adams Administration members Diane Savino and Ed Kiernan will serve as the CRC’s Executive Director and General Counsel respectively.

The CRC is tasked with reviewing the New York City Charter and determining how to make New York City’s municipal government more responsive and transparent to the city’s residents.

Last week, Mayor Adams announced additional appointments to the CRC, including Carlo Scissura –president and CEO of the New York Building Congress — as chair, Dr. Hazel N. Dukes — president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) New York State Conference — as vice chair, and Kenny Ngai — a 20-year veteran of New York City law enforcement — as secretary.

“This is a short sprint,” Executive Director Savino explained.  “…We have to complete the work of this commission in a very quick period of time in order to be ready to present our final report by the end of July, no later than August 5th.”  

The CRC must provide referendum questions to the City Clerk by August 5th to be included on the general election ballot in November.

Trucking Association Files Lawsuit Asserting Congestion Pricing Targets Trucking Companies

The Trucking Association of New York (TANY) this week filed litigation against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) over its soon-to-be-implemented congestion pricing framework in New York City. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, argues that the congestion pricing policy unfairly targets trucking and logistics companies, which are charged higher rates than passenger vehicles.

“The MTA’s reckless congestion pricing policy ignores the warnings and counsel of industry experts on both sides of the Hudson, who warn that the discriminatory way trucks and logistics companies are targeted by the plan will increase costs for residents everywhere,” said Kendra Hems, president of the Trucking Association of New York. “This lawsuit was a step we took only out of necessity after the MTA repeatedly refused to make any concessions to our industry and ultimately used our essential, hard-working members as a tool to meet their arbitrary funding requirements. We hope that we can, through this litigation process, create a more equitable and fair policy that works for New York City.”

Under the plan, trucks would be subject to a charge of $24 or $36 per trip into the congestion zone below 60th Street in Manhattan, depending on their size, compared to just $15 per day for passenger vehicles. While the goal of the plan is to reduce vehicle traffic during business hours, $1 billion of the program funding is earmarked to the MTA Capital plan.

According to the Trucking Association, the trucking industry, which has its delivery schedules set by the businesses they serve, is subjected to a higher rate because driver behavior is unlikely to be altered by the plan.   The lawsuit asserts that the MTA – knowing that truck demand is inelastic and unlikely to be altered by higher tolls – unfairly targeted trucks with higher rates to raise the mandated $1 billion.

The NY Metropolitan Trucking Association has spearheaded legislation (S.8709A/A.9569) to limit the tolls on trucks to once per day.  The bill is sponsored by Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D Staten Island) and AM Brian Cunningham (D Brooklyn).


NYS Becomes First State to Offer Federal Home Energy Funding for Low Income Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades

Governor Kathy Hochul this week joined U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Granholm  to announce that New York is the first state in the nation to offer the first phase of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) Program funding to consumers.

The initial $39.6 million formula grant will expand the reach of New York’s EmPower+ program by allowing more low-income families to improve their homes with energy efficiency and electrification upgrades.     Funding for the full portfolio of IRA Home Energy Rebate programs and deployment of additional rebates is expected later this year. The State is eligible to receive a total of $317.7 million through the DOE’s IRA Home Energy Rebate programs: $159.3 million for the Home Efficiency Rebates program and $158.4 million for HEAR program.

Eligible owners of one- to four-family households that have a household income below 80 percent of the Area Median Income or participate in a utility payment assistance program will automatically be enrolled to benefit from IRA HEAR incentives when they apply to the EmPower+ program. Incentives are provided to residents through EmPower+ contractors to reduce the cost of installing energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in a home or apartment.

Attorney General James Announces Agreement Requiring NCAA to End Transfer Eligibility Rule

New York Attorney General Letitia James, the U.S. Department of Justice, and a multistate coalition of 10 attorneys general this week announced that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has agreed to permanently end its transfer eligibility rule, which prohibited Division I college athletes from competing for one year if they transferred schools twice. 

The Attorney General argued that the NCAA’s transfer eligibility rule forced college athletes to either stay in colleges they wanted to leave or miss out on athletic opportunities, limiting their career potential. 

The agreement, which must be approved by U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey, removes what the coalition views as an illegal restraint on the athletes’ ability to market their labor and control their education. 

In addition to ensuring athletes’ autonomy, the agreement:

  • Prevents retaliation from the NCAA against member institutions and athletes who challenge the rule or support those who do. This includes safeguarding student athletes’ rights to compete during legal proceedings without fear of punitive actions from the NCAA. 
  • Requires the NCAA to grant an additional year of eligibility to Division I athletes who for any reason were previously deemed ineligible under the transfer eligibility rule since the 2019-20 academic year. 
  • Prohibits the NCAA from undermining or circumventing its provisions through future actions, rules, or policies, thereby ensuring college athletes’ rights and freedoms.
  • Establishes the court’s continuing jurisdiction to enforce its terms and resolve any disputes that may arise.

Department of Financial Services Issues New Guidance on Virtual Currency Customer Service Requirements

New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Adrienne Harris this week issued guidance requiring DFS-regulated virtual currency entities to maintain and implement effective policies and procedures to promptly address customer service requests and complaints. 

The guidance requires VCEs to collect relevant data so that the Department can assess whether they are resolving customer service requests and complaints in a timely and fair manner. It requires licensees to maintain for Departmental review records of their own policies and procedures, as well as quarterly analysis of requests and complaints they receive.  

DFS outlines commonly effective policies and procedures, including:

  • Providing customers with both a phone and electronic text mechanism to submit requests and complaints;
  • Issuing regular updates and estimated resolution timelines to the customer;
  • Publishing an FAQ or similar communication without requiring an account to log in;
  • Tracking requests and complaints, along with feedback on customer satisfaction;
  • Reporting a quarterly tabulation of the number of requests and complaints received, broken down by method and request/complaint topic;
  • Specifying the individual or individuals responsible for the customer service and complaint policies and procedures.

National Grid Proposes Upstate New York Rate Increase

National Grid this week proposed a rate hike plan for the utility’s upstate gas and electric customers, proposing a one-year increase on delivery of approximately 23 percent for residential electric customers and 29 percent for gas customers. The State Public Service Commission (PSC) will begin the formal proposal review process.

The rate hike is estimated increase the total bill by 15 percent for electricity and 20 percent for gas, according to published reports.

National Grid’s serves 1.7 million electric customers and 640,000 gas customers in Upstate New York. The proposed increases would start in spring 2025.  According to published reports, the utility provided enough data to reach a four-year deal, which could lower initial impacts.

In 2022, the PSC approved rate hikes of 3%.   

Coming Up

New York State

Monday, June 3rd

New York State Assembly Session, 11:30 a.m. (Tuesday through Thursday are TBA)

Assembly Ways & Means Committee Meeting, Off the Floor

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.

*Additional Senate and Assembly Committee Schedules were not announced at time of publication*


Tuesday, June 4th 

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.


Wednesday, June 5th 

New York State Senate Session, 3 p.m.


Thursday, June 6th 

New York State Senate Session, 11 a.m.


New York City

Monday, June 3rd

Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, 

Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.

Committee on General Welfare, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m.


Tuesday, June 4th 

Committee on Contracts, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th floor, 10 a.m.

Committee on Aging, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 16th Floor, 10 a.m.

Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings, and Dispositions, 

250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 1 p.m.


Thursday, June 6th 

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

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