September 30, 2014
Mayor enacts Intros 104-A, 137-A, 187-A, 48-A, 129-A, 371-A, 472-A and 474
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed eight bills into law, related to youth in the foster care system, tenant protection, the City’s building code, and traffic safety.
“Each of these eight bills will help improve the quality of life in New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From protecting tenant rights and ensuring positive outcomes for children in foster care, to raising the bar for our City’s building codes and beefing up our Vision Zero efforts for safer roadways and streets, today we take a decisive step forward in increasing accountability across this administration and commit to lifting up more New Yorkers. I applaud the City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, for the swift passage of these critical pieces of legislation.”
The first set of bills requires the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to report information related to youth in the foster care system on an annual basis. Specifically, Intro. 104-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Letitia James, requires ACS to submit information on youth aging out of foster care, including housing, education, and employment outcomes. Intro. 137-A—sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm—mandates ACS to report on its efforts in obtaining government-issued personal identification for foster care youth. Lastly, Intro. 187-A, sponsored by Council Member Laurie Cumbo, requires that ACS provide information regarding high school enrollment and graduation rates for youth in foster care.
“Today, there are nearly 12,000 children and youth living in foster care throughout New York City. Nearly 1,000 young adults age out of foster care, only to enter back into City services because they weren’t given the tools to succeed. Today, we take a definitive step towards improving the lives of those young adults through tracking them as they transition out of foster care, in order to better understand the problems that they might encounter, and provide them with the support they need to thrive,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing this vital bill into law, and I look forward to continuing to work with our City agencies to improve the lives of New York’s at-risk youth.”
“The enactment of Intro 187-A, my first piece of legislation, demonstrates our collective commitment to education and the success of all youth in foster care. Through increased transparency and accountability of the Administration for Children’s Services, we can monitor the academic progression of our City’s most vulnerable population to ensure that these young men and women will excel beyond their circumstances,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of Women’s Issues Committee.
“Getting identification for youth in foster care is a step in the right direction for setting individuals up for a life on their own,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Government-issued personal identification opens doors to do all of the things many people take for granted, including accessing buildings and schools, driving, crossing international borders and dealing with immigration authorities, interacting with law enforcement, opening bank accounts, and so on. I am particularly excited that the City’s recently established municipal identification card program is included in this bill. Thank you to the many advocates, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Mayor de Blasio.”
“With thousands of New York’s youth living in the foster care system, it is essential for us to ensure that the City provides the fullest possible array of support services for youth who are striving to overcome the barriers to achievement that they face every day,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “By expanding the data that’s available to policymakers, the pieces of legislation being signed into law today by Mayor de Blasio will open the door to the development of an innovative mix of programs and services that will make a real difference in the lives of countless New Yorkers. Additionally, I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, and Council Member Cumbo, the lead sponsor of the legislation, for their support of this important legislation.”
The second group of bills relates to tenant protection. Namely, Intro. 48-A, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, requires the Housing and Preservation Department to create an information guide for tenants and owners of buildings that contain multiple housing dwellings. This guide—which would be offered by owners for tenants in their buildings—will include responsibilities of landlords related to heat, hot water, pest management, repairs and maintenance, tenant organizations, rent-regulated leases, rental assistance for elderly or disabled tenants, and housing discrimination. Intro. 129-A, sponsored by Council Member Margaret Chin, increases civil penalties against owners that harass tenants from between $1,000 to $5,000 to between $5,000 and $10,000, in addition to posting the violator’s information online.
“I am proud to join my colleagues and Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign these important bills into law,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee. “Two of these bills I sponsored at the request of Mayor de Blasio will make adjustments to the 2014 Building Code to ensure the code is solid and sound before implemented. In an effort to show how serious the Council is on tenant harassment, I also cosponsored a bill with Council Member Chin to combat harassment from landlords and will reduce the financial incentive to displace tenants out of their homes by raising violations. Though this bill is not meant to fine landlords the maximum penalty for every violation, it will give judges the discretion to levy the fine against the most egregious bad actors.”
“Today’s signing of the Tenants Bill of Rights provides another important tool in the arsenal of protection for all New York City tenants,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
The third series of bills, both sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, relates to the 2014 Construction Code. Intro. 472-A will fix 33 minor non-substantive typographical errors and drafting inconsistencies in the 2014 New York City Construction Codes. Intro. 474 extends the effective date of the 2014 Construction Codes from October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, allowing design professionals additional time to prepare plans and specifications in compliance with the new provisions.
The last piece of legislation—Intro. 371-A—allows for civil penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a crash without reporting their name, residence, license, and insurance information to the victim or a police officer. These penalties could be in addition to any other criminal or civil penalties under the State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Increased penalties for fleeing the scene of a crash are a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities.
“The Justice for Hit-and-Run Victims Act will save lives by deterring those who would even think of fleeing the scene of a collision and leaving a fellow New Yorker to die on the street,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “By introducing civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first time to drivers found guilty of fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run collision, we are sending a strong message—if you break the law, we will track you down and bring you to justice. No family should ever suffer the loss of a loved one to a hit-and-run driver, and the signing of this bill will bring our City closer to ending this epidemic and making Vision Zero a reality.”
“This weekend we witnessed another callous and despicable hit and run in our city. Today we say no more, not in our city. The Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act will save the lives of thousands of New Yorkers by causing drivers to think twice before they abandon the victims of their reckless actions,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “We commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration’s commitment to keeping our streets safe by signing this bill into law today.”
Learn more about each bill: