Council to also vote to broadcast citywide candidate debates

City Hall – Today, the New York City Council will vote on a bill extending health insurance coverage for surviving family members of Department of Transportation (DOT) workers who have died in the line of duty. Next, the Council will vote on a bill requiring the broadcast of citywide candidates debates. In addition, the Council will vote to mandate defibrillators at softball fields where youth leagues play. Next, the Council will vote to increase the timeline for property owners to repair sidewalks. Finally, the Council will vote on several finance and land use items.


Expanding Health Insurance Coverage for Family Members of Deceased Transportation Workers

Introduction 895, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would extend health insurance coverage for surviving family members of DOT Bridges electrician, George Staab, who was killed along the Hutchinson River Parkway on April 4. The administrative code already authorizes health insurance to be provided to family members of uniformed employees of the police, fire, correction and sanitation department who have died in the line of duty. This bill only applies to Mr. Staab’s family.

“On behalf of the residents of the 27th Council District, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of George Staab at the Department of Transportation’s Division of Bridges. His tragic death this past April was a loss not only to those who knew and loved him, but also our City, which is served daily by a civil workforce of nearly 400,000 dedicated women and men. I’m honored to have sponsored this bill in support of the Mayor’s effort to ensure that the health care needs of Mr. Staab’s family will be met for the foreseeable future, and sincerely hope they will be able to take a small measure of comfort from this symbol of our City’s gratitude,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.


Requiring the Broadcast of Mandatory Debates

Introduction 14-A, sponsored by Council Member Joseph Borelli, would require that mandatory citywide campaign debates be simultaneously broadcast on the City-owned or operated television channel with the largest public audience.

“This may not be priority one for some people and we’re likely three years away from any city-wide debates, but the fact that we spend so much public money to increase voter turnout to then only allow a small percentage of city residents to see the debate seemed counter-productive. I can’t believe this was allowed in the first place and I’m glad I’m changing the rules. More than half of New Yorkers weren’t able to watch last October’s mayoral debate on television because they either don’t have access to NY1. Maybe they can’t afford it, or just refuse to pay Spectrum’s high subscription rates. Either way, all New Yorkers should be allowed to watch the debates on TV. I’d like to thank Speaker Johnson and Chairman Cabrera for making this bill a priority this year and helping to deliver a win to everyday New Yorkers,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli.


Requiring Defibrillators at Softball Fields Where Youth Leagues Play

Introduction 189-A, sponsored by Council Members Steven Matteo, would require that automated external defibrillators (AED) be provided to youth softball leagues playing on City-owned land at no cost. Commotio cordis is the second highest cause of death in athletes under the age of 14. Softball has the second highest incidence rate of commotio cordis events, and 75% of people who experience commotio cordis are under 18 years of age. An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest, and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.

“Today, we are building on the great success of legislation Speaker Johnson and I authored and passed two years ago, which has provided more than 1,500 little league teams across the city with free working AEDs for every game and practice and trainings for more than 3,000 league officials, coaches and parents on how to use the devices. This latest bill will expand the AED program to youth softball leagues, which means more than 500 more teams will have soon access to these lifesaving devices. There is a simple reason for these bills, along with others I will introduce, and the Council’s Beating Hearts initiative, which distributes AEDs to organizations in each Council district: AEDs save lives,” said Council Member Steven Matteo.


Increasing the Timeline to Repair Sidewalks

Introduction 210-B, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would require that property owners be given more time to make necessary repairs to the sidewalk adjacent to their property, increasing the timeline from 45 days to 75 days. The purpose of the legislation is to allow more time for property owners to complete sidewalk repairs, which is especially important during the winter months when weather conditions are less conducive to completing sidewalk work.


“We are also giving thousands of homeowners more time to repairs their sidewalks before their homes are slapped with a lien by the Department of Transportation. Last year alone, the city issued nearly 15,000 violations to property owners for ‘unsafe’ sidewalks caused by cracks or other conditions. But almost none of those homeowners were able to make repairs within 45 days – the time currently allotted by city law before their property is hit with a lien. My bill nearly doubles that to 75 days. This is a more fair and reasonable approach, especially since sidewalk repairs can be expensive, require time to hire a contractor, and simply cannot be done in cold or inclement weather. I want to once again thank Speaker Johnson and my colleagues for their support on these efforts,” said Council Member Steven Matteo.


The City Council will also vote on the following finance item(s)…

 Introduction 882, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would change the date of initial eligibility for the Small Business Tax Credit against the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) from July 1, 2018 to June 1, 2018 to align with the CRT tax year.

In addition, The Council will vote on seven Article XI exemptions.

  1. Seneca Avenue – Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district
  2. Lafayette Morrison – Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district
  3. Teller Avenue – Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district
  4. Aquinas – Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district
  5. Inwood House – Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez’s district
  6. Essie Jeffries – Council Member Mark Levine’s district
  7. Rockaway Village – Council Member Donovan Richards’s district


The City Council will also vote on the following land use item(s)…

  1. PRC Tiffany Street

Article XI tax exemption to facilitate the development of a new 100% affordable housing project, with 161 residential units, in Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district.

  1. Bethany Place

Article XI tax exemption to facilitate the preservation of one building totaling 23 residential units as 100% affordable housing, in Council Member Bill Perkin’s district.

  1. Two Buildings Tenants United HDFC

An Urban Development Action Area Project and an Article X1 Tax Exemption for two, six-story multiple dwelling buildings in Council Member Carlina Rivera’s District.

  1. CSH

Article XI tax exemption for two small buildings in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn that are part of a larger portfolio of preserved affordable housing administered by “CSH” , the Corporation for Supportive Housing in Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel’s district.

  1. MPLP Uptown Cluster 6

Approval of an Article XI tax exemption and an Urban Development Action Area Project (UDAAP) to facilitate the disposition of 6 city-owned buildings, totaling 82 units. The units will be preserved as 100% affordable housing in Council Member Bill Perkin’s district.

  1. 615 West 150th Street

Article XI tax exemption to facilitate the preservation of two buildings totaling 80 units as 100% affordable housing in Council Member Mark Levine’s district.