The Council will also vote to establish commercial waste zones throughout the City
City Hall – The New York City Council on Wednesday will vote to pass Speaker Johnson’s historic streets master plan legislation. The legislation will require the Department of Transportation to issue and implement a transportation master plan every five years. Benchmarks will be developed for each five-year plan. The plan’s goals would be to prioritize the safety of all street users, the use of mass transit, the reduction of vehicle emissions, and access for individuals with disabilities.
The Council will also vote on a package of sanitation and commercial waste legislation that will establish commercial waste zones throughout the City and regulate the trade waste industry. Through the legislation the City’s Department of Sanitation would be responsible for designating these zones and entering into agreements with as many as three private carters in each zone. Five carters will be authorized to provide containerized pickup citywide. This bill would also protect workers by requiring worker retention in the case of a merger or acquisition, and the department would make available a displaced employee list to companies.
Additionally, the Council will vote to create a specialized high school task force to address the persistent inequities in the racial and ethnic student bodies of specialized high schools. The task force will be made up of speaker and mayoral appointees and be charged with finding solutions that will help diversify schools throughout the City. Among many duties, the task force will specifically examine the current admissions system throughout New York City, including the specialized high school admissions exam.
Finally, the Council will vote on a series of animal rights bills including legislation that limits the conditions in which one can work a carriage horse and a ban on the sale of certain force-fed poultry products known as ‘foie gras.” The package of legislation also establishes an office of animal welfare.
Requires five-year plans for city streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian spaces
Introduction 1557-A, sponsored by The Speaker (Council Member Johnson), would require the Department of Transportation to issue and implement a transportation master plan every five years. The plan’s goals would be to prioritize the safety of all street users, the use of mass transit, the reduction of vehicle emissions, and access for individuals with disabilities. Each plan would include certain benchmarks. The first plan would be due in December of 2021. The bill also requires reporting in February of each year regarding an update on any changes to the master plan and the progress towards achieving the benchmarks laid out in the plan.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) would also be required to conduct a public education campaign on the benefits of each master plan.
“The piecemeal way we plan our streets has made no sense for far too long, and New Yorkers have paid the price every day stuck on slow buses or as pedestrians or cyclists on dangerous streets. We need faster buses, safe streets infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, and more pedestrian space. We need to do everything we can to encourage sustainable modes of transportation, especially with the realities of climate change growing more dire every day. This plan will get us there, and by doing so it will make New York City a much more livable and enjoyable place to call home,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
Sanitation and Commercial Waste Legislation
Establishes commercial waste zones, and repeals sections 16-523 and 16-524 of such code, relating to a pilot of special trade waste removal districts
Introduction No. 1574-A,sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, would mandate the establishment of commercial waste zones. The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) would designate commercial waste zones and enter into agreements with up to three private carters to operate in each zone. There would also be up to five carters authorized to operate citywide to pick up large containers of waste that are brought directly to a waste transfer station. Certain micro-haulers, including those who collect organic waste by bicycle, would be able to continue to operate under a particular tonnage.
The bill would encourage private carters to submit proposals to ensure the goals of the program – improved safety for workers and the public; reduction of waste hauling vehicle miles travelled and associated pollutants, including greenhouse gas emissions; and improved customer service. DSNY would be authorized to set minimum rates that carters must charge businesses, if necessary.
The bill would also protect workers by requiring worker retention in the case of a merger or acquisition, and the department would make available a displaced employee list to companies.
Regulates the trade waste industry
Introduction No. 1573-A, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso at the request of Mayor Bill de Blasio, would add enforcement of environmental, safety and health standards to the powers and duties of the Business Integrity Commission (BIC). Some private carters have a history of operating unsafely in the City, but continue to remain licensed by BIC. This clear statement of the BIC’s authority to act on unsafe practices in this industry would allow the agency to consider a business’ practices more broadly upon license renewal. Additionally, it would add violation of law relating to the safety of the general public to the reasons a trade waste license could be suspended.
“Companies in the private carting industry are currently engaged in a race to the bottom in which workers are denied training, and old diesel trucks are used to travel impossibly long routes that zig-zag inefficiently across our City. Today, we are putting an end to the private carting industry’s horrific practices and the devastating impacts they have had on workers, community members, and our environment. I thank Speaker Johnson, my Council Colleagues, and the advocates who have fought tirelessly alongside me in reforming this industry,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
Requires global positioning systems in certain waste hauling vehicles
Introduction No. 1082-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., would require Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on waste hauling vehicles that are used to collect waste in commercial waste zones. GPS on private carting trucks can provide information to the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the Business Integrity Commission (BIC) to allow them to properly monitor waste hauling vehicles operating in the City.
Enacts fines for unreported employees
Introduction No. 1083-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., would require a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000 for carting companies that receive a violation for an unreported employees. A minimum fine of $1,000 reflects the severity of the violation.
Employees in the private carting industry are subject to a review of good faith, honesty and integrity to ensure that there is no involvement in organized crime. When companies do not properly report their employees, there is a risk that those employees should not be operating in this industry. There is also a risk that employees have not been properly trained or licensed to do the potentially dangerous work that they are doing.
“Today, the Council is voting on a package of bills that will make the commercial sanitation industry safer for all New Yorkers, stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca. ‘Codifying strict enforcement measures against carters who rely on off-the-books employees sends a strong message that New York City will not tolerate these unsafe practices. Similarly, requiring GPS software in private garbage trucks holds companies accountable for reckless driving that has led to numerous fatalities across the five boroughs. I am proud to be part of this legislative package and look forward to the implementation of these industry safeguards,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca.
Health (Animals) Legislation
Bans the sale or provision of certain force-fed poultry products
Introduction No. 1378, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would prohibit retail food establishments or food service establishments from storing, maintaining, selling or offering to sell force-fed products or food containing a force-fed product. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that any item with a label or listed on the menu as “foie gras” is the product of force-feeding. Violators would be subject to a civil penalty between $500 and $2,000 per offense.
Prohibits the trafficking of wild birds
Introduction 1202-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would prohibit non-exempt individuals from taking or attempting to take any wild bird. Exempt individuals include law enforcement employees or other City employees acting in the scope of their duties, a person authorized by law or permit, or a person attempting to rescue a wild bird. Any person who unlawfully takes a wild bird is subject to a misdemeanor and a fine of no more than $1,000.
“I’m proud that New York City is continuing its long history of leading on animal rights with today’s vote on our animal rights package. As the lead sponsor of two bills in this package that ban foie gras sales and wild bird trafficking, I know that this legislation will make New York a more just, fair, and compassionate city,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
Makes it unlawful to work carriage horses in certain conditions
Introduction No. 1425-A, sponsored by Council Member Keith Powers, would prohibit carriage horses from being worked when the air temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or whenever the air temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above and the equine heat index is 150 or above. Equine heat index is defined as the sum of the air temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, and the relative humidity at a particular point in time.
Establishes an office of animal welfare
Introduction No. 1478-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, would establish an Office of Animal Welfare, headed by a Director appointed by the Mayor. The Office would be vested with the power to advise and assist the Mayor in the coordination and cooperation between agencies relating to animal welfare administration, regulation, management, and programs; review and recommend budget priorities relating to animal welfare; prepare an annual animal welfare report; serve as liaison for the City regarding animal welfare; provide outreach and education on animal welfare programs and humane treatment of animals; and perform other duties the Mayor may assign.
Calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign an act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the general business law
Resolution No. 798, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, would call on the New York State Legislature to pass, and on Governor Cuomo to sign, A6298/S4234, an act to amend the agriculture and markets law and the general business law, in relation to the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits. This state bill would combat irresponsible breeding and encourage adoption by prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats, or rabbits by retail pet shops, while allowing animal rescue organizations to showcase such dogs, cats, or rabbits at collaborating retail pet shops for the purpose of adoption.
Requires full-service animal shelters operated by New York City to post photographs of adoptable animals within three days of receiving an animal
Introduction No. 870-A, sponsored by Council Member Joseph C. Borelli, would require any full-service animal shelter operated by New York City to post photographs of each adoptable animal within three days of receiving such animal, provided that the animal is medically and behaviorally well enough. It would also require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to encourage non-full-service animal shelters to promote the placement of adoptable animals.
Requires the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to report animal cruelty complaint data
Introduction No. 1498-A, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, would require the New York City Police to publish semi-annual public reports on complaints and investigation of animal cruelty allegations. Specifically, the Department would report on the number of animal cruelty complaints received and arrests issued.
Requires vaccination of dogs for bordetella
Introduction No. 1570-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Levine, would ensure that dogs entering kennels, businesses, or establishments need to be in compliance with the New York City Health Code, which requires the dog be vaccinated for bordetella.
“Bordetella bacteria is one of the most common causes of ‘kennel cough’ in dogs and cats and can pose serious, if not deadly, complications for our favorite pets. This disease is highly contagious and often poses a justification for euthanasia in dogs and cats who contract it. This bill will ensure that when dogs and cats use kennels, grooming businesses, or other pet-oriented establishments they will not be in danger of contracting or transmitting this very contagious disease. This bill will go a long to protect our furry friends from unnecessary harm when we the ability to so easily immunize them from this common and deadly sickness,” said Council Member Mark Levine.
Recognizes “Meatless Mondays” in New York City
Resolution No. 379, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would call for the recognition of “Meatless Mondays” in New York City. “Meatless Mondays” is an international campaign that encourages people to enjoy meat-free meals on Mondays to improve their personal and public health, animal welfare, wildlife protection, and environmental and agricultural sustainability.
“A plant-based diet not only provides enormous health benefits, it’s also good for animal welfare and our environment — using fewer resources and creating far less pollution than diets centered around animal products. My resolution encourages New Yorkers to enjoy “Meatless Mondays” so that they can take part in the significant benefits of a plant-based diet: reduced risk of a wide range of diseases; improved overall health; and longer lives. I’m delighted the City Council will be voting on my resolution today,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Calls on the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.286, which would provide a tax credit to each taxpayer who adopts a household pet from a shelter
Resolution No. 921, sponsored by Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, would call on the New York State Legislature to pass, and on Governor Cuomo to sign, A.286, which would provide a tax credit to each taxpayer who adopts a household pet from a shelter. This state bill would provide a $100 maximum tax credit to each taxpayer who adopts a dog or a cat from a shelter, and would cover a maximum of the three pets per taxpayer.
“We applaud the Council for encouraging the Assembly to take steps toward making pet adoption from animal shelters easier for New Yorkers. We hope this incentive will invite people to add a new furry friend to their family, helping the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) to reach its goal of finding caring homes for the thousands of pets they rescue each year.” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
Calls on the United States Congress to pass, and the
President to sign, H.R. 724 and S. 479, the Preventing Animal Cruelty Torture
Act, otherwise known as the PACT Act
Preconsidered Res. No. 977, sponsored by Council Member Robert Holden, would call on the United State Congress to pass, and the President to sign, H.R. 724 and S. 479, the Preventing Animal Cruelty Torture Act, otherwise known as the PACT Act. This federal legislation would revise and expand federal criminal provisions with respect to animal crushing, which is defined as actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.
“I am proud to co-sponsor many bills in this sweeping package that will continue to make New York City a leader on animal welfare issues. My bill, Res. 977, calls on Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the PACT Act which would designate ‘animal crushing’ as a federal felony. This is an important step toward putting an end to animal cruelty and putting those responsible for killing innocent animals behind bars for a long time. The House unanimously passed this bill, and I look forward to seeing the Senate and the President follow through,” said Council Member Robert Holden.
Creates a specialized high school taskforce
Introduction No. 1541-B, sponsored by The Speaker (Council Member Johnson), would create a specialized high school task force that would be charged with addressing the racial/ethnic student body inequities of the specialized high schools. The task force, made up of speaker and mayoral appointees, would be required to examine (i) the current admissions system, including the specialized high school admissions exam and whether such exam should be changed or eliminated; (ii) existing programs such as the Department of Education’s discovery and dream programs; and (iii) the use of alternative admissions methods, including state standardized examinations and grade point average.
“Racial and economic inequities are unfortunately too common in our City’s specialized high schools. My specialized high schools task force will examine these inequities through the engagement among stakeholders in education and government. This bill is a step forward to providing solutions to address the diversity problem in our City’s school system,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
Finance Committee Items
Increases the amount six Business Improvement Districts can expend annually
Introduction No. 1750, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm (by request of the Mayor), would authorize six Business Improvement Districts throughout the City to increase their annually assessments.
Property Tax Exemptions
Knickerbocker Village, in Council Member Chin’s, district will receive a partial, 50-year Article IV property tax exemption to preserve 1,590 units of affordable rental housing.
Striver’s Plaza, in Council Member Perkins’, district will receive a full, 40-year Article XI property tax exemption to preserve 117 units of affordable rental housing.
St. Nicholas Manor Apartments, in Council Member Perkins’, district will receive a partial, 40-year Article XI property tax exemption to preserve 112 units of affordable rental housing.