Bill will reimburse expenses for security guards at school facilities

City Hall – Today the City Council will vote on legislation allowing City reimbursement to non-public schools for costs related to hiring security personnel. The Council will also vote on legislation promoting the use of geothermal energy in city facilities. Finally, the Council will vote on legislation requiring additional communication between the Economic Development Corporation and Community Boards across the city.

School Security

Introduction 65-A, sponsored by Council Member David Greenfield, would authorize City-provided reimbursements to non-public schools for expenses related to hiring unarmed school security guards. Qualifying schools include non-profit schools in New York City with 300 or more enrolled students, providing instruction in accordance with the education law and serving students in any combination of grades pre-kindergarten through twelve. To obtain reimbursement, the security guards must be registered with the state, paid the prevailing wage and supplements as determined by the Comptroller pursuant to the state labor law, and be trained for work in elementary schools. Reimbursable costs include expenses related to hiring, training and wages for guards providing security services during school hours, school-related after school programs and athletic events. The number of security guards provided to each school will be based on the number of students. Schools would be required to apply for the reimbursement and to provide appropriate documentation to support reimbursement requests.

This bill would go into effect April 1, 2016.

“Students across our city deserve a safe learning environment, no matter what community they come from or where they attend school,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “With this bill, we’re reaffirming that message and showing our commitment to all students in New York City.”

“Today is a historic day for children’s safety,” said Council Member David Greenfield. “I am proud that my bill, Introduction 65-A is passing today and will be implemented by April 1, 2016. This monumental legislation recognizes that every child, regardless of where they go to school, – whether public or private, secular or religious – deserves to learn in a safe environment. Coming on the heels of two anti-Semitic crimes in my district last week and a rise of religious bias crimes in New York City, this legislation is more important than ever. I am extremely grateful to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my 44 colleagues who co-sponsored my legislation and have consistently supported this legislation for the past 21 months since its introduction. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for recognizing that all school-children need security and taking a bold step in protecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers. I especially want to thank the students, parents, school administrators, labor organizations and advocates from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths who strongly advocated for this protection. I am thankful to the Orthodox Union, the UJA-Federation of New York, Agudath Israel of America, the Sephardic Community Federation, the Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens, the Islamic Schools Association, the Muslim Community Network and SEIU 32 BJ building service workers’ union for their active partnership and unwavering support that led to the passage of this bill.”

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal power uses heat from the Earth to heat buildings. It offers a renewable source of clean power, particularly when coupled with solar power systems.

Introduction 609-A, sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides, will require and make publicly available online, a screening tool that can be used to determine whether installation of a geothermal system would be cost-effective for any given building. It will additionally require that the Administration use this screening tool when constructing and retrofitting city buildings. Where the Administration finds that installing a geothermal system would be cost-effective, the system must be installed.

Finally, the bill will require the Administration to send the Council recommendations for:
• Standards for the installation of geothermal systems.
• Qualifications for system installers.
• Maintaining a public registry of qualified installers.
• Informing property owners and geothermal system installers of the benefits of coupling such systems with solar power systems.
• The feasibility of installing geothermal systems on the waterfront by suspending coils in surface waters.

The Administration would be required to produce the screening tool by February 1 2017, with the Administration’s recommendations due 18 months after the bill’s enactment.

“This bill is the first time in city history that the social cost of carbon is being considered as part of implementing an environmental policy. Updating city-owned buildings with geothermal technology provides real sustainability benefits to communities, reduces our carbon footprint, and provides environmental leadership for the private sector to follow. The online screening tool will provide an opportunity for informed private geothermal installations, making them more simple and safe for people to attain in their own homes and commercial buildings. This will not only bring environmental benefits, but also increase cost-efficiency and improvements in quality of life. I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and my Council colleagues for their partnership and commitment to reach our shared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 in NYC,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.

EDC Reports

Introduction 128, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, will require copies of the annual report of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to be distributed to community boards, in addition to the other entities that already receive such reports (the Mayor, the Council, the Comptroller, the Public Advocate, and the Borough Presidents). This bill will improve transparency regarding the efficacy of the city’s economic development policies by ensuring that community boards receive the same timely access to this information as other city entities.

“Int. 128 requires that an annual report on jobs created and retained in connection with any project undertaken by a contracted entity be provided to community boards, which are critical players in improving the unemployment rate in our communities. This legislation will increase transparency and allow us to get a better sense of the role that City funds are playing in the creation and retention of jobs,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.


Q: What’s the latest in Uber?
A: No update. The report is due and we will review it.

Q: Will you put a cap back on the table?
A: We will be reviewing the report when we have it.

Q: What’s latest on horse carriages?
A: No update.

Q: Are you close to a deal?
A: No.

Q: When will you have a hearing?
A: We have not set a date yet.

Q: Any reaction to the Mayor and the Governor sitting down for dinner?
A: I was sad to hear the fish was dry—but I am happy they spoke.

Q: You’ve stayed out of their fighting- why?
A: I’ve said our only goal here is to work with our partners in the City and State to get things done.

Q: Do you have any reaction to the recent Daily News covers?
A: Gun violence is an epidemic in America and I commend the Daily News for taking a stand.

Q: Do you support the Mayor’s new opioid proposal?
A: It’s obviously a problem – especially on Staten island- and I commend the Mayor for taking it on.

Q: Do you support Mark Levine’s bill which calls for regular updates for bullet proof vests?
A: The City Council was proud to lead on this issue earlier this year and I look forward to reviewing the bill.

Q: Some Council Members were upset about Scott Stringer’s report last week on East New York- what was yours?
A: I think Council Member Espinal was right that we can’t let politics and misinformation get in the way of trying to find solutions. The plan is going to look substantially different once the Council is done with it.

Q: Any updates on the Quadrennial Commission?
A: No we’re waiting for their report.

Q: Why didn’t you put a money amount in the letter?
A: We wanted to make our case to the Commission who are going through their process.

Q: Do you have a number in mind yet?
A: No.

Q: Will you support eliminating outside income?
A: It’s something we will surely take into consideration.

Q: Why was it 4,000 pages?
A: The Commission asked for the change in work over time so we submitted all the information possible.

Q: Do you believe in settling Syrian refugees in NYC?
A: Yes, we should accept them as I’ve said.

Q: Do you echo what the Mayor said equating the Syrian’s to Jews fleeing Nazi’s?
A: I like to keep away from historic analogies – as I’ve said we need to live up to our ideals here.

Q: Did you watch the President last night?
A: We obviously have a problem in America- and as the President has noted it’s not something we see in other places. There is not a lot New York Can do- we’ve taken a lot of steps which we should be proud of and the Governor has really been outspoken and delivered here. I do think it’s maybe time to take a hard look at the Second Amendment. It was written and ratified at a time when we had no standing army, little if any organized police force and if very clearly didn’t take into account semi-automatic weapons and handguns which are designed to kill people. Of course it would be an up-hill climb and I am saying we need an outright ban on guns. What I am saying is maybe it’s time to make gun ownership a privilege and not a right. We can’t continue to ignore the fact that guns are being used to kill people at a rate which we should be embarrassed by.

Q: Was what happened in San Bernadino terrorism?
A: Yes.