This Week in New York – Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws, City Council Passes Fire Safety Bills & Executive Budget Hearings  

The New York Note

Mayor Signs Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws

This week the Mayor signed 11 bills into law that combat workplace sexual harassment. These new regulations mandate that all private companies with 15 or more employees in New York City conduct annual sexual harassment training that meets the City’s requirements. All employers must display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibility poster designed by the City’s Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, this package of bill applies provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law related to gender based discrimination to all employers, regardless of their number of employees.

To read Mayor de Blasio’s full press release, click here.  

City Council Passes Fire Safety Bills

At Wednesday’s stated meeting, the City Council introduced 62 new bills, including a “Lead Package” of legislation that calls for testing levels of lead in water and soil as well as lead remediation. The Council additionally introduced 11 bills on school security, including legislation that creates a school security task force that would review emergency preparedness, communication technologies and evacuations in schools.

Also at this week’s stated meeting, the City Council passed a package of 8 bills relating to fire safety.
Passed Legislation:

  • Int 0599-2018: Fire Safety Package — Requiring the FDNY to conduct outreach and education to residential buildings.
  • Int 0602-2018: Fire Safety Package — Self-closing doors
  • Int 0603-2018: Fire Safety Package — Requiring the fire department to meet certain standards for fire hydrant inspections and report on fire hydrant inspection results.
  • Int 0604-2018: Fire Safety Package — Requirements for smoke alarms and smoke detectors in residential and non-residential occupancies.
  • Int 0606-2018: Fire Safety Package — Emergency evacuation preparedness for individuals with disabilities or limited mobility.
  • Int 0608-2018: Fire Safety Package — Requiring notice to close doors when escaping a fire.
  • Int 0609-2018: Fire Safety Package — Requiring the FDNY to implement a plan for educating both children and parents about fire safety and prevention.
  • Int 0610-2018: Fire Safety Package — Stove knob covers 
Executive Budget Hearings

On Monday, May 7th, the NYC Council Committee on Finance, Chaired by Council Member Danny Dromm, heard from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Melanie Hartzog whose testimony focused on the FY19 expense budget, the City's overall fiscal picture and the most significant differences between the FY19 executive budget and the FY19 preliminary budget which was released in January 2018, including new investments to better serve NYCHA residents; enhancements to the Dept. of Education’s budget; and increased funding for programming in neighborhoods with high incidents of gun violence. Funding for these efforts were included in the Executive budget in part due the urging of the NYC Council however, despite these updates the Council including Speaker Johnson pressed Hartzog on the importance of including additional funding in the FY19 adopted budget for Council priorities that remain unfunded in the FY19 executive budget.

Among the priorities identified by the Council, funding for a “Fare Fairs” program which would provide subsidized metro cards for low income New Yorkers living below the federal poverty line appears to have emerged as one of the Council’s top concerns for the FY19 budget and we anticipate the Fare Fairs program will continue to play a prominent role in the Council’s ongoing budget negotiations with the Administration. The Council has estimated that it would cost approx. $212 million to fund subsided metro cards for New Yorkers living below the poverty level in FY19 adopted budget and although de Blasio has indicated support for intent of the Fare Fair proposal, the Mayor has indicated an unwillingness to begin this subsidy program without first identifying a dedicated revenue stream to fund reduced price metro cards in FY19 as well as into the future. 


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Rose Christ

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

(212) 883-2248

Katie Schwab

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

(212) 883-4913

Related Practices

Please contact Katie Schwab or Rose Christ 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.