New York Note – City Legislation, Redistricting, Willets Point, State Legislation

December 26, 2023

NYC Council Introduces and Passes Legislation

Last Wednesday, the NYC Council convened their final Stated meeting of the year, where they passed and introduced multiple pieces of legislation. The Council passed several policing and criminal justice bills, including a ban on solitary confinement in city jails and the How Many Stops Act, which would require police officers to report information about lower-level investigative encounters with civilians. Mayor Adams is opposed to the bills, which both passed with a veto-proof majority. Adams previously said about the How Many Stops Act, “there’s no way I will sign this bill into law.” The Mayor now has 30 days to either sign the bills into law or veto it. If the Mayor vetoes the bills, the Council can override with a two-thirds vote. The Mayor has only used his veto power twice, most recently in July on legislation expanding access to rental assistance vouchers, which the Council overrode. The Council also passed a bill allowing employees to commence a private right of action under the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, and a bill prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of criminal history. You can find all of the bills that were passed and introduced here.

Congressional Redistricting in NYS

The New York State Court of Appeals has ordered a new round of redistricting by the New York Independent Redistricting Commission. The new congressional maps will need to be proposed by the IRC by the end of February, and does not require any public hearings. The new maps will likely be more favorable to Democratic candidates than the 2022 maps. Governor Hochul noted that she plans to approve whatever plan the Legislature sends to her desk. After the state legislature and Governor approve the new maps, they will be in effect for the 2024 election through the next round of redistricting in 2032.

Willets Point Project Breaks Ground

On Wednesday, developers broke ground on the first phase of the mixed-use development project in Willets Point, Queens. The project will ultimately bring a privately-financed soccer stadium for the New York City Football Club and 2,500 affordable housing units. The first phase will include 880 units of affordable housing, along with a hotel and several pedestrian plazas. The next phase of the plan will include 220 affordable housing units for low-income seniors.

Governor Signs and Vetos End-of-Year Bills

Late Friday night, Governor Hochul signed 42 bills and vetoed 43. She signed the LLC Transparency Act, a measure that will force LLCs to list their “beneficial owners” when creating a company or changing a company’s structure, but Hochul negotiated an amendment that will keep the database from the public. She also vetoed a bill banning noncompete agreements, a bill requiring NYC to install recycling bins in every park, playground, and historical site, and the Wrongful Convictions Act. Hochul approved a measure moving many county- and town-level elections to even-numbered years and a bill closing a loophole to strengthen the state’s rent laws. Governor Hochul now needs to act on only five pieces of legislation by the end of the year.

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