This Week in New York – NYC Employee Background Checks, School Overcrowding, Legislation in the News, and a New Cybersecurity Initiative  

The New York Note

NYC Employee Background Check Backlog

This week the City Council concluded its hearings on the FY19 preliminary budget and over the upcoming weeks the Council will be developing a formal response to the Mayor’s FY19 preliminary budget. The Council’s FY19 budget response will be released within the first two weeks of April, which will kick-off negotiations between the Council and the Administration that will continue until the FY19 budget is adopted on or before June 30, 2018.

Tuesday’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations preliminary budget hearing revealed that department backlog has led to the hiring of thousands of city employees without proper background checks.

DOI Commissioner Mark Peters testified that his agency ended the year with a backlog of 6,050 background investigations. The Commissioner’s testimony further revealed that 21% of background checks completed in 2017 had potentially “adverse information” that may have impacted hiring. 

Legislation in the News:

Since the start of session, the City Council has introduced 787 legislative items, a few of which have received significant media coverage. At this point, most legislation has been referred to committee and awaits a hearing. We will continue to monitor this legislation and provide you with relevant updates. 

News Coverage




Councilman’s bill would ban smoking while walking on city sidewalks


New York Daily News
March 20

Int. No. 734 would prohibit individuals from smoking while walking on sidewalks under the jurisdiction of the department of transportation and several locations under the jurisdiction of the department of parks and recreation.

Referred to Committee on Health

Council Members Koo, Chin, Diaz Sr., Kallos

Lawmakers want to ban baloney from NYC public schools

New York Post
March 22

Res. 0238-2018 calls upon the New York City Department of Education to ban processed meats from being served in New York City public schools.

Referred to Committee on Education

Council Members: Cabrera, Rosenthal, Brannan

Proposed law giving workers the 'right to disconnect' after work draws mixed reactions

ABC News
March 27

Int. 0726-2018 would make it unlawful for private employers in the city of New York to require employees to check and respond to email and other electronic communications during non-work hours.

Referred to Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing

Council Members: Espinal, Ampry-Samuel


School Overcrowding

From Fiscal 2014-2017, the School Construction Authority has created over 35,000 pre-K seats and 117 new buildings for New York City public schools. However, the school system still suffers from overcrowding. Data reported on in the Committee on Education report reveals that elementary schools experience the most overcrowding with a 103% utilization rate. 


Mayor de Blasio Announces NYC Secure, The City's First-Ever Cybersecurity Initiative to Protect New Yorkers Online

Free smart phone app to launch this summer and new security for public Wi-Fi networks deploying now.

Read More →


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Rose Christ

Co-Chair, New York Practice, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(212) 883-2248

Katie Schwab

Managing Director, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(212) 883-4913

Related Practices

Please contact Katherine Schwab, Rose Christ or Reggie Thomas of Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies with any questions you may have regarding this note or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues.