In the News-New York City
Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Support 9/11 Victims, First Responders, and Their Families
Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation in New York City this week to provide support to 9/11 victims, survivors, and their loved ones by helping to remove barriers and delays from Victim Compensation Fund and workers’ compensation claims.
Chapter 364 of the Laws of 2022 aims to ensure that individuals who were in the Lower Manhattan and northern Brooklyn exposure zones between September 2001 and the end of May 2002 are made aware by employers of their rights to register for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program. Specifically, the legislation would require businesses and institutions that had people return after the attack to notify them of their potential eligibility for the Victim Compensation Fund and World Trade Center Health Fund.
“In addition to our heroic first responders, there are many workers, including retail employees, cleanup workers, office workers, building services staff, and others who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center during and after the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks and who may experience WTC-related illnesses,” bill sponsor Senator Brian Kavanagh said. “The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program have been a lifeline for many people for two decades, but many others are not aware that they may be eligible for these programs. This law will help remedy this by enlisting employers of those who worked in the area on or after 9/11 up until July 31, 2002 to notify each employee of these programs.”
The State’s Economic Development agency and Department of Labor will coordinate a plan to provide adequate notice of the benefits available.
In addition, Governor Hochul signed Chapter 361 which designates a portion of the state highway system as the “Port Authority Police Officer Pavlos D. Pallas Memorial Bridge” located in the neighborhood of East Elmhurst, Queens County.
According to the Governor, the Port Authority PBA, Paul’s former union, sought to see Paul eternally remembered in his hometown for his service.
“Pavlos (Paul) Pallas’ legacy will live on with the newly designated “Port Authority Police Officer Pavlos D. Pallas Memorial Bridge,” bill sponsor Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry said. “Paul passed away from cancer in 2011, at the age of 34. He developed his illness following his assignment to the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. It is my honor to have helped make this recognition a reality.”
Chapters of the Laws of 2023
Chapter 359 – Sponsored by AM Colton/Senator Kavanagh – Declares Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday.
Chapter 360 – Sponsored by AM Beephan/Senator Rolison – Relates to designating the Zone Sergeant James G. Sweeney Memorial Bridge.
Chapter 361 – Sponsored by AM Aubry/Senator Stavisky – Designates a portion of the state highway system as the “Port Authority Police Officer Pavlos D. Pallas Memorial Bridge.”
Chapter 362 – Sponsored by AM Fitzpatrick/Senator Mattera – Relates to designating a portion of the state highway system as the “Port Authority Police Officer Steven J. Tursellino Memorial Highway.”
Chapter 363 – Sponsored by Senator Gallivan/AM Wallace – Deems Lawrence Lakeman to have died as a natural and proximate result of his participation in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations.
Chapter 364 – Sponsored by Senator Kavanagh/AM Sayegh – Enacts the “9/11 notice act.”
Chapter 365 – Sponsored by AM Bores/Senator Griffo – Raises the maximum fine for persons who violate the law regulating telemarketing to twenty thousand dollars.
Chapter 366 – Sponsored by AM Burdick/Senator Mayer – Relates to notice of eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Chapter 367 – Sponsored by AM Dinowitz/Senator Ramos – Prohibits an employer from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose any means for accessing an electronic personal account.
Chapter 368 – Sponsored by AM Seawright/Senator Mannion – Relates to a state council on developmental disabilities.
Chapter 369 – Sponsored by Senator Cleare/AM Mannion – Requires notice to unemployment applicants of the supplemental nutrition assistance program and WIC.
Chapter 370 – Sponsored by Senator Skoufis/AM Seawright – Replaces the terms “mentally retarded”, “mental retardation” and variants thereof with “developmentally disabled” and “developmental disability.”
Chapter 371 – Sponsored by Senator Mayer/AM Benedetto – Relates to replacing certain instances of the words handicapping conditions with disabilities.
In the News-New York City
Mayor Adams Launches “Getting 97 Done,” NYC’s Strategy To Reduce Building Emissions
New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week launched Getting 97 Done, a plan to cut carbon emissions from the City’s large buildings as part of their obligations under Local Law 97 of 2019.
Local Law 97, passed by the City Council in 2019, puts limits on carbon on all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, including apartments and offices. The law goes into effect in 2024, requiring reduced emissions with benchmarks of 40% reduction by 2030 and “net zero” by 2050. Owners not in compliance could face fines of $268 for every ton of emissions above the limit.
Getting 97 Done includes identifying government funding for upgrades, providing owners with advice, enforcing deadlines and compliance, and assisting the state in decarbonizing the city’s central systems.
The City estimates that 11% of buildings are out of compliance with the law’s 2024 standards and 63% of buildings are out of compliance with the stricter 2030 standards, according to published reports.
Under new rules proposed by the City Department of Buildings (DOB) building owners who make a “good faith effort” to meet the caps but do not achieve them by the 2024 deadline may get two more years before fines go into effect. Specifically, the proposed rules:
- Set out penalties for noncompliance at the maximum amount allowed under the law.
- Outline how property owners can demonstrate a “Good Faith Effort,” as written in Local Law 97, to reduce emissions and comply with the law, therefore avoiding penalties — namely by showing progress on decarbonization, sharing a plan to reach their emissions reduction targets, and accepting a framework for retroactive enforcement if they fail to follow through on those plans.
- Fully prohibit buildings that qualify for the “Good Faith Effort” provision of the law, and implement a decarbonization plan, from purchasing renewable energy credits as part of reaching their emissions reduction targets.
- Establish a new credit for early electrification work in a building that owners can apply towards compliance with their emissions reduction targets.
- Provide guidance for affordable housing buildings and houses of worship on their Local Law 97 prescriptive compliance pathways under Article 321 of the law.
The proposed rules will be open to public comment during an online hearing on October 24, 2023. DOB will review and consider all public comments made during the hearing for inclusion before publishing the final adopted rules later this year.
Bills Approved by the City Council
Introduction 263-A — Sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin — Requires the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to report annually on the services provided at Workforce1 career centers. The report would include the number of new registrants, the number of registrants who obtained jobs, and the number of registrants provided job training.
Introduction 760-A – Sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin – Requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide free swimming lessons and water safety instruction to NYC public school second grade students.
Introduction 877-B – Sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu — Requires the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to create a comprehensive exit survey and interview protocol for city agencies to gather feedback from resigning and retiring municipal employees regarding their experience in the City’s workforce.
Introduction 949-A – Sponsored by Majority Leader Keith Powers – Establishes a program for individuals to receive new powered mobility devices (electric scooters, electric bicycles, etc.) or lithium-ion batteries for use in such devices that meet fire safety standards. Devices and batteries would be provided at reduced cost or no cost, and available in exchange for devices that do not comply with fire standards or are otherwise illegal.
Introduction 969-A – Sponsored by Council Member Mercedes Narcisse – Requires the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to provide information on Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) via the one-stop-shop online portal established by Local Law 94 of 2022.
Introduction 1017-A – Sponsored by Council Member Shekar Krishnan – Requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to submit an annual report on staffing levels and training for the City’s pools and beaches programs, including information on the seasonal recruitment of lifeguards, the number of emergencies that occurred at each beach and pool, and the current number of pools that are closed for public use due to maintenance or other issues.
Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Crack Down on Telemarketers
Governor Kathy Hochul this week signed legislation (Chapter 365 of the Laws of 2023) to crack down on telemarketers and safeguard New Yorkers from continuous, unwanted calls. This legislation will help curb calls by nearly doubling the fine for telemarketers violating the Do Not Call Registry.
Chapter 365 amends the general business law to raise the maximum fine for violators of the Do Not Call Registry from the current $11,000 penalty set in 2004 to $20,000. By raising the fine, this legislation will deter telemarketers and safeguard New Yorkers from incessant calls, according to the Governor.
Tourism Spending in New York Surpasses Pre-COVID levels in 2022
Spending by tourists and travelers in New York totaled a record $78.7 billion in 2022, according to a study released this week by the Hochul Administration.
New York also saw a record number of “visitors” in 2022—over 291 million – leading to the 51% increase in spending. “Visitors” includes not only tourists traveling to New York, but also New Yorkers who travel more than an hour from home for an overnight stay. The study was conducted by Tourism Economics and was contracted by Empire State Development.
According to published reports, lodging such as hotel stays accounted for $26 billion, or one-third of all visitor spending. This includes the purchase of second homes, per the study’s methodology.
The next largest category was spending on food and beverages, which accounted for $20 billion in visitor spending, or 25 percent of the total.
Mayor Adams Announces New Steps to Stabilize City’s Budget
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is directing all City agencies to submit plans to cut spending by up to 15% between now and April 2024 to stabilize the City’s budget.
He has directed each city agency to submit a plan to reduce spending by 5% in November’s budget update. The Mayor then wants the agencies to reduce spending by another 5% in January’s preliminary budget and again in April’s executive budget.
The mayor pledged there will be no layoffs and the City is working to reduce any impact on services or programs. Overtime at City agencies is subject to Administration approval.
Mayor Adams cited that without the interim measures, costs associated with the migrant crisis, along with revenue growth slowing and COVID-19 funding coming to an end, could place the City at risk of a financial disruption.
Major Private Investment in Staten Island Shipping Terminal to Generate More Than 300 Jobs
Governor Kathy Hochul and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this week announced a substantial new investment to expand and upgrade the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, creating more than 300 jobs and preserving this site as a key economic generator for Staten Island.
The projected investment of $200-$300 million was secured through an amended lease agreement between the Port Authority and the facility’s new operator, global shipping and logistics company CMA CGM. The lease, now running through 2047, will bring capacity enhancements, infrastructure improvements, and sustainability upgrades.
CMA CGM’s investment will support approximately 300 construction jobs, with a pledge from CMA CGM to prioritize Governor Hochul’s and the Port Authority’s goals of utilizing local and minority and women-owned businesses whenever possible. Once complete, the increased activity will support approximately 80 additional on-site jobs, most of them through the International Longshoremen’s Association union, with a continued commitment to hire locally.
CMA CGM is also expected to leverage Howland Hook’s longtime ties to SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, which has partnered with the facility for workforce training, research, and development. The company assumes full responsibility for maintaining and rebuilding wharf and berth structures, as well as increasing capacity to meet demand.
Adams Administration’s Action Plan to “Reimagine” City’s Curb Space
With the explosion in home deliveries and growing range of transportation modes on New York City streets, curb space has become increasingly sought after, competitive, and chaotic. In response, the Adam’s Administration developed the “Curb Management Action Plan” which includes 10 steps to better design and manage the curb lanes.
The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) in Manhattan will be the first “Smart Curbs” neighborhood in a pilot program launching this fall. The City Department of Transportation (DOT) will work with the BID and other community partners to evaluate current curb regulations, identify community needs at the curb, and test new uses and technologies that make access easier – mitigating traffic congestion and double parking.
In addition, DOT is identifying City-wide ways to:
- Address freight-related safety through smarter curb management. Strategies include incentivizing off-hour deliveries, establishing dedicated loading zones, and creating microhubs where goods can be transferred from larger freight vehicles to smaller low- or no-emissions vehicles.
- Establish dedicated pickup/drop-off zones for for-hire vehicles in high-volume locations. DOT will also continue to work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to expand loading zones for Access-A-Ride paratransit vehicles in key locations and update its parking design standards to reflect the U.S. Access Board’s Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines.
- Add bicycle parking capacity. DOT is installing bike corrals in the curb lane to provide higher-capacity parking. DOT will also solicit proposals for vendors to pilot secure bike parking facilities, including in the curb lane.
Mayor Adams, NYCEDC, Councilmember Hanks Double Down On Support For Staten Island’s North Shore With New Action Plan
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball, and New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks this week recommitted to prioritizing the future of Staten Island’s North Shore by unveiling the “Staten Island North Shore Action Plan: Building a Vibrant, Mixed-Use Waterfront Community.”
The four-year roadmap delivers on calls from the local community for a clear and unified vision for the North Shore and emerges from months of collaboration between the NYCEDC, Councilmember Hanks, and numerous city agencies and community partners.
Building on a “generational” city investment of approximately $400 million, the plan details strategic investments to the North Shore of Staten Island that will unlock 20 acres of public open space, create over 7,500 family-sustaining jobs, generate an estimated economic impact of $3.8 billion, and accelerate the completion of over 2,400 units of housing.
According to the Mayor, the Action Plan initiates this fall and will focus on executing the long-promised, two-mile waterfront esplanade, stretching from Stapleton to Tompkinsville to St. George — creating 20 acres of continuous waterfront access. The plan will also fully unlock the potential of the 2019 Bay Street rezoning, the 2008 St. George rezoning, and the 2006 Stapleton Waterfront rezoning.
Other initiatives include: redeveloping and reopening Pier 1; new request for proposals for the Bank Street site (former Wheel site); request for proposals for the new Stapleton Waterfront site; and completion of the Lighthouse Point and Staten Island Urby housing projects.
New York State
Friday, September 22nd
Intoxicated and Impaired Driving
New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation
Roosevelt Hearing Room C, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, 10 a.m.
New York City
Monday, September 18th
Committee on Women and Gender Equity, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Oversight – Menstrual Equity in NYC – Update.
Tuesday, September 19th
Joint – Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations & Civil and Human Rights, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings and Dispositions, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 10 a.m.
Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, September 20th
Joint – Committee on Health & Hospitals, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Oversight – Evaluating Access to Sickle Cell Care in NYC.
Committee on Land Use, 250 Broadway – Committee Room, 14th Floor, 12 p.m.
Joint – Committee on Education & Technology, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1 p.m.
Oversight – The Role of Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology, and Computer Instruction in New York City Public Schools.
Thursday, September 21st
Committee on Women and Gender Equity, Committee Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor, 10 a.m.
Joint – Committee on Contracts & Oversight and Investigations, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1 p.m.
Oversight – Revisiting City Contracts Serving Asylum Seekers in New York City.
Friday, September 22nd
Committee on Public Housing, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10 a.m.
Oversight – $78.34 Billion: NYCHA’s Physical Needs Assessment.
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