2015 NYS Assembly Significant Legislation
Current as of: January 4, 2016




Establishes Database for Alzheimer Disease Support requires the State Office for the Aging (SOFA) to establish a database of programs that have proven successful in supporting and treating elderly individuals with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH) and after consulting with public, governmental and non-profit and for profit agencies. The information would be available to the public on SOFA's website and updated at least once annually. (A.5318 / S.3968; Veto 257)

Reducing Crime Against Seniors broadens the mission of the Committee for the Coordination of Police Services to Elderly Persons by authorizing the committee to consider any programs that will help combat the problem of crime against elderly persons. Currently, the committee is limited to studying and evaluating "Triad Programs." (A.928 / S.5905; Chapter 244)

Adult Day Programs Subject to SOFA Regulations broadens SOFA's oversight of social adult day programs to all programs regardless of the funding source. Under the bill, programs would not be able to call themselves social adult day programs unless they are in compliance with SOFA's regulations. This legislation also requires SOFA's director to submit a report by December 31, 2016 to the Governor, both leaders of the Senate and Assembly and the Legislature's respective aging committee chairs regarding the projected costs and benefits of establishing uniform standards and requirements for social adult day programs. (A.5352 / S.3923; Veto 230)

Elder Abuse Prevention Campaign requires the SOFA, in consultation with the Office of Children and Family Services, to conduct a public education campaign that focuses on detecting and reporting elder abuse, including identifying agencies that can be contacted for help and to disseminate such information through print, audio, electronic and other forms of media. (A.7612-A / S.5328-A; Veto 241)

SCRIE and DRIE Affordable Housing Information requires the agency administering the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Programs to develop informational material describing eligibility for and benefits of SCRIE/DRIE and directs landlords of rent-stabilized housing units to distribute the information to tenants eligible for SCRIE/DRIE. (A.2124-A / S.5856; Chapter 424)

SCRIE and DRIE Rent Amounts Frozen establishes a grandfather rule for participants in the SCRIE / DRIE Programs as of January 1, 2015 and for individuals who entered the programs on or before July, 2015 to retain their current frozen rent for as long as they are in the programs. The legislation also creates a bridge for certain individuals to allow them to regain their previous frozen rent amounts. (A.7914-A / S.5721-A; Chapter 553)

SCRIE / DRIE Household Exemption Transfer ensures that an eligible surviving member of a household has time to apply to an agency administering SCRIE/DRIE to transfer the rent increase exemption from the deceased head of household to their own name in order to continue the exemption as the new head of household by providing six months from the date of death or 90 days from the date of notice from the administrative agency, whichever is longer, to apply for the transfer. (A.7247-A / S.5826-A; Chapter 580)


Establish Farmland Inventory for First-Time Farmers directs the Department of Agriculture and Markets to enhance access to viable agricultural land for new and beginning farmers. The bill also would direct the Office of General Services to work with Agriculture and Markets to develop an inventory of state-owned real property that may be viable for farming. (A.1571 / S.1824; Veto 201)

Locating Food Stores in Underserved Communities establishes a task force to examine local, state and federal regulatory requirements for the establishment and successful operation of supermarkets and other retail food markets in areas that are underserved by food retailers. These locations are often known as "food deserts." Under the bill, members of the task force would consider ways to streamline the regulatory process in order to help businesses get one-stop approvals whenever possible, and facilitate their expansion to underserved areas. (A.7873 / S.5806; Veto 244)

Feral Cat Populations authorizes up to 20 percent of the funds from the Animal Population Control Program to be used for Trap, Neuter and Return programs to deal with feral cat populations. Under the bill, grants would be provided for local groups to spay or neuter feral cats. This "rounding up" approach has been found to be an effective alternative to traditional methods of controlling cat populations. (A.2778 / S.1081; Veto 203)

Investment Fund to Support Improved Farming Practices establishes the Farm Investment Fund, which would be jointly administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Empire State Development Corporation. The fund would provide grants of up to $50,000 for the purposes of updating and improving farm practices. The criteria for the grants would include growth and sales development with preference given to veterans, those transferring farms to the next generation and projects for farm expansion. (A.2417-B; Passed Assembly)

Expedite Establishment of County Agricultural Districtsg streamlines the year-long process for counties to create and review agricultural districts. This bill would eliminate some redundant requirements involving public notices, hearings, reporting and other outdated directives. Agricultural districts are created by counties through farmer initiatives. Farms within a district receive lower property assessments and also protections from local laws, nuisance lawsuits and development projects that may change the area's agricultural character. (A.8082; Passed Assembly)


Alcohol Drug Free Living establishes the Sober Living Task Force to identify best practice guidelines for sober living residences, barriers that hinder persons from obtaining recovery services and promote alcohol and drug free living environments. The bill would benefit people who are in need of an alcohol and drug free environment in order to maintain a sober lifestyle. (A.7054; Passed Assembly / S.5463; Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee)

Gambling Study authorizes and directs the commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, in consultation with the State Gaming Commission, to conduct a statewide evaluation of the extent of gambling by the state's residents. (A.7055; Passed Assembly)


Borrow and Save Loans permits state-chartered banks to offer borrow and save type loans, where a portion of the principal of the loan is put into a savings account and made available at the completion of the loan's term. (A.6105-A / S.5148-A; Chapter 380)

Expands Basic Bank Account Withdrawals Limit for Seniors increases the number of no-charge bank withdrawals for basic account holders 65 years of age or older from eight to 12. (A.4534; Passed Assembly)

Examining Banking Services in Underserved Communities requires the Department of Financial Services to study and report on the availability of banking products and services in low-income communities. (A.5980; Passed Assembly)


Child Care Safety Regulations requires the State Education Department's health and safety regulations to be controlling over the Office of Children and Families Services' health and safety regulations when a registered provider is providing child care to school aged children in a school building. The bill aims to reduce barriers for child care providers when their services are provided in school based settings. (A.7750 / S.5627; Veto 286)

Enhance Early Learning Resources establishes the Early Learning Investment Commission to secure funding for public and private early childhood learning initiatives. Under the bill, these investments would be used to maintain, improve and expand the availability of quality early learning programs in the state. (A.6629 / S.4421; Veto 208)

Unnecessary Regulator Burdens for Child Care Providers establishes a taskforce of relevant agencies to review and make recommendations for streamlining administrative and regulatory requirements governing child care programs. The bill aims to unburden child care providers from unnecessary administrative requirements such as filing duplicative government agency paperwork. (A.7135 / S.5091; Veto 236)

Parental Rights and Immigration Proceedings adds an additional exception for instances in which a local social services district does not need to file a petition to terminate parental rights, as is required after a child is in foster care for 15 out of 22 months. Under the bill, the exception to filing such a petition would apply if the parent is involved in an immigration proceeding involving either detention or deportation. (A.2432; Passed Assembly / S.2516; Children and Families)

Child Care for Parents Who Work the Late Shift requires local social services districts to provide a child care subsidy to financially eligible parents that are in need of child care so they can sleep during the day because they work the overnight or late shifts. Under the bill, the child care subsidy would be available only to parents of children under the age of six and who are not in school. (A.775-A; Passed Assembly / S.5184; Children and Families)

Child Care Services establishes a statewide data base of summer, after-school and school age child care programs by directing the Council on Children and Families to post such information online in order to assist parents and caregivers who are seeking child care services. (A.1869; Passed Assembly / S.1465; Children and Families)


Continuing Hurricane Sandy Relief extends, for an additional two years, the authorization to waive the requirements of certain sections of General City Law and the reinstatement of building permits that expired due to Hurricane Sandy for owners of homes in Breezy Point, New York City. This legislation helps to facilitate the rebuilding of Breezy Point, one of the most severely damaged areas of New York City, by waiving the requirement for certain approvals by the Board of Standards and Appeals in New York City provided select conditions are met. (A.6326 / S.4538; Chapter 81)


Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act creates new offenses and increases penalties for labor trafficking and patronizing a person for prostitution. The bill also creates an affirmative defense for trafficking victims accused of prostitution and provides for a civil remedy to victims of human trafficking. To help law enforcement agencies more effectively crack down on the perpetrators of human trafficking and also to better assist the human-trafficking victims, the legislation also requires the state to provide education materials about the crime of human trafficking. (A.506 / S.7; Chapter 368)

Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking extends until 2019 the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. In addition to requiring annual task force reports, the bill also would add nominees to the panel. Under the legislation, members of the task force would include nominees appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, the Temporary President of the Senate, the NYS Bar Association President, and a not-for profit provider that is receiving the most state budget funds for services to assist human trafficking victims. (A.551 / S.4763; Veto 222)

Bans Synthetic LSD adds "N-Bomb" and other substances commonly referred to as "synthetic LSD," which are hallucinogenic substances, to Schedule I of the state's controlled substances list. Users of these mind altering drugs have experienced severe medical complications.

Under the bill, individuals convicted of possessing a hallucinogenic substance could face up to a class B felony, depending on the amount, and individuals convicted of selling a hallucinogenic substance could face up to a class A-II felony, depending on the amount. (A.627-A / S.738-A; Chapter 370)

Bans Powdered Alcohol bans the sale of alcoholic beverages or product in crystalline or powdered form. Under the bill, violators could be charged with a class A misdemeanor. (A.1357-A / S.1757-A; Chapter 231)

Criminalizes the Concealment of a Corpse establishes the crime of concealment of a human corpse. Under the bill, individuals convicted of concealing a corpse could be charged with a class E felony. (A.4085-A / S.2957-A; Chapter 242)

Translation of Domestic Incident Reports requires law enforcement officials throughout the state to provide a translation of domestic incident reports when such reports are filed in a language other than English. The bill also requires that notification of victim's rights be provided to victims of domestic violence in their native language. (A.4347 / S.4288; Chapter 432)

Crime of Forcible Touching makes it a class A misdemeanor to subject another person to sexual contact for the purpose of sexual gratification and with intent to degrade or abuse another person who is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car operated in New York State. (A.4969-B / S.3203-A; Chapter 250)

Worker Protections from Unlawful Discrimination permits employees of any business large or small to file a complaint for sexual harassment. Under the bill, an aggrieved individual could bring an administrative complaint before the State Division of Human Rights and also seek civil penalties and reimbursement for the cost of attorney fees by filing a lawsuit in Supreme Court. (A.5360 / S.2; Chapter 363)

Improving Law Enforcement Access to Records of Child Abuse clarifies and expedites access to records of the state child abuse registry and of local social services districts when needed for a criminal investigation or criminal prosecution or to aid in the search for a missing child. This bill also establishes a procedure by which a law enforcement official may immediately appeal to the state when denied access under such circumstances. (A.5803 / S.3520-A; Chapter 436)

Drug Treatment Courts establishes statewide uniformity in drug treatment courts to allow courts to order medically prescribed treatment for opioid abuse or dependence for defendants while participating in the judicial diversion program. (A.6255-B / S.4239-B; Chapter 258)

Nicholas's Law establishes regulations for the safe storage of firearms in order to prevent injury and death, particularly of children, by unintentional access, discharge and use of weapons. Under the bill, several categories of offenses are created, including failing to properly store a rifle, shotgun, firearm or antique firearm in the first degree, a class A misdemeanor. Violators also could be charged with a class E felony in the first degree for failing to properly store a firearm that is discharged by an unauthorized person and results in bodily harm. (A.53-A; Passed Assembly / S.2291-A; Rules)

Special Prosecutor for Deadly Force by Law Enforcement establishes the Office of Special Investigator in the Department of Law. The bill would increase transparency in grand jury proceedings involving the use of deadly force by police and peace officers. The legislation also would authorize the designation or appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and/or prosecute such cases. (A.6509-A; Passed Assembly / S.5592-A; Rules)

Grand Jury Information Availability requires legal instructions and charges submitted to a grand jury in cases involving a death following an encounter with police to be more readily available to the public. Under the bill, following the final action by the grand jury, the charges and legal instructions explained to the jury would be presumptively available for public release. The measure requires that the names of witnesses and any information revealing a witness's identity be redacted when a court determines such a public disclosure would endanger the witness. (A.8084; Passed Assembly)

Determining Awards for Crime Victims expands the circumstances under which a crime victim may receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred when traveling to appear in court. The bill also allows compensation not just to facilitate the victim's testimony, but also to allow victims to attend other scheduled court appearances from arraignment, through trial and to sentencing. (A.1097; Passed Assembly / S.2034; Governmental Operations)

Tenant Right to Call for Emergency Assistance establishes the right of tenants to call police or emergency assistance without fear of losing their housing for a violation of a nuisance ordinance. The bill would help protect domestic violence victims from losing their apartment. (A.1322; Passed Assembly /S.4955; Judiciary)

Bans Synthetic Cannabimimetic Agents adds a number of synthetic cannabimimetic agents to the schedule of controlled substances. Under the bill, the possession of these controlled substances would be a class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a sentence of up to one year in jail. The legislation also provides that individuals who are charged with selling a controlled substance may be charged with a class D felony and face a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to seven years. (A.1910-B; Passed Assembly)

Expedited Partner Therapy for Sexually Transmitted Diseases makes permanent the law permitting health care providers who may prescribe medications for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to also prescribe such medications for a partner who is not present for treatment before the practitioner. This measure continues the provision in the law that provides immunity from criminal liability to a practitioner who prescribes such medication to treat STDs while acting reasonably and in good faith. (A.2170; Passed Assembly / S.4860; Health)

Sealing of Records allows a person who has been convicted of one or more misdemeanor offenses, other than sex offenses, to apply to the court to have the record of such convictions sealed. The bill also authorizes the unsealing of the record in certain circumstances if the individual is later charged with or convicted of a subsequent offense. (A.2699 / S.5593; Passed Assembly)

Discovery Reforms establishes the power of a court to order the prosecution to disclose relevant property that is shown to be material to the preparation of the defense, whether or not the prosecution intends to introduce the property at trial. The bill addresses court rulings that have limited such court-ordered disclosure. Under the legislation, the prosecution would retain the power to maintain confidentiality when needed, such as by a motion for a protective order. (A.2878; Passed Assembly)

Expands Adoptee Rights allows an adopted person who is at least 18 years of age to request from the court, in which the order of adoption was made, a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate and /or a medical history form if available. (A.2901-A; Passed Assembly / S.5964; Health)

Assisting Victims of Human Trafficking increases access to safe houses and social and legal services for victims of human trafficking. In addition, the bill also would provide an affirmative defense to persons charged with certain prostitution offenses. Under the legislation, an affirmative defense could be used to mitigate the charges brought against a defendant who can prove the individual was compelled to commit an unlawful act. (A.2953; Passed Assembly)

Bans the Use of Opioid Antagonists as Evidence prohibits the possession of opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, from being considered as evidence in criminal or civil cases involving the alleged illegal possession of a controlled substance. The bill requires police and peace officers to receive appropriate instruction on the prohibition. (A.2962-A; Passed Assembly)

Prohibiting Racial Profiling by Police Officers prohibits police officers from using racial and ethnic profiling. The bill also requires that procedures be established for the filing and review of complaints of racial or ethnic profiling. (A.3949; Passed Assembly)

Clarifying Statutes Related to Rape brings the elements of rape in line with other unlawful sexual acts by removing the penetration requirement in the rape statute. The bill also clarifies the definition of rape to include oral and anal sexual contact. (A.4959-A; Passed Assembly)

Surrender Weapons in Domestic Violence Convictions requires a court to direct the immediate surrender of weapons to a law enforcement agency upon a conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. (A.5257; Passed Assembly)

Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Violence Perpetrators prevents perpetrators of serious offenses against members of the same family or household from legally possessing a firearm in order to prevent the escalation of domestic violence. (A.6340; Passed Assembly)

Redefines Youthful Offender Status alters the current practice in which defendants who are ages 16, 17 or 18 are considered for youthful offender status. The bill addresses the disparity between first-time youthful offenders who are charged with a misdemeanor in local courts where youthful offender status is automatic and in superior court where it is not. Under the bill, a first-time offender charged with a misdemeanor in superior court would automatically be adjudicated as a youthful offender. (A.7212; Passed Assembly)


Clothing Collection Bins enhances regulations for the placement and maintenance of clothing collection bins in communities across the state. The bill would require that the owners of the bins and the intended use of the donated clothing be disclosed on the bin. This measure also creates standards for the operation of such clothing bins. (A.5317-B / S.5893-B; Chapter 524)

TV, Furniture and Appliance Tip-Over Prevention requires the state's Consumer Protection Division to develop and implement a public awareness campaign about the dangers of unsecured furniture, televisions and other appliances in light of the growing number of children who are suffering from injuries caused by tip-over accidents. (A.7018 / S.4543; Chapter 587)

Utility Consumer Advocate creates the New York State Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate (UCA) to provide residential utility consumers with an independent representative during state and federal regulatory proceedings involving utility companies that offer electric, natural gas, internet, cable television, telephone and wireless communication services. The UCA would be appointed to a six-year term by the governor, subject to the approval of the state Senate. (A.180; Passed Assembly)

Terminating Cellphone Contract for Domestic Violence Victims allows victims of domestic violence to end a cellphone contract when the contract is with the person who has been battering them. (A.326; Passed the Assembly)

Protections from Unscrupulous Employment Agencies strengthens protections for job seekers using employment agencies. The bill would empower job seekers by permitting civil actions to be filed against employment agencies that violate state laws. The legislation addresses the abuses found among unscrupulous employment agencies that charge exorbitant fees for their services but fail to deliver on their promise to find jobs for their clients. (A.3702; Passed Assembly)


Port Authority of NY & NJ Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 provides improved oversight, transparency and regulation at the New York-New Jersey Port Authority, including requiring the Port Authority to hold public hearings on all toll and fare increase proposals, establish a whistle blower assistance and access program and require all of the Port Authority's board meetings to be announced in advance and conducted in public. (A.8298 / S.5998; Chapter 559)

Web Availability of State Authority Board Meetings requires the state's authorities to webcast, save and archive their board meetings on the web. Under the bill, if the authority has less than $1 million in revenue or debt/bonds, the board may waive the requirement. The legislation also provides a private cause of action against authorities that fail to provide public access to their board meeting deliberations on the internet. (A.4788-B / S.5990; Veto 304)

MTA Council for Individuals with Disabilities creates the MTA Riders' Council for People with Disabilities to study, investigate, monitor and make recommendations about the accommodations necessary to enhance the mass transit experience for riders with disabilities. The council would consist of 15 members who regularly use the transportation services of the MTA and have a disability as defined by any applicable state or federal law. (A.5267 / S.5437; Veto 229)

Consumer Energy Marketing Protections codifies telemarketing practices for energy service companies (ESCOs) by requiring ESCOs and ESCO marketing representatives to comply with the "Do-Not-Call" Registry and basic telemarketing standards; remove a consumer's name from an ESCO marketing database upon the request of the consumer; and require a marketing representative to provide their name, the name of the ESCO on whose behalf they are calling for and the purpose of the call. (A.6205-A / S.4526-A; Veto 262)

LED Streetlights Act of 2015 authorizes municipalities to submit an application to the Public Service Commission to seek ownership rights of its streetlights to upgrade to LED technology. Under the bill, when a municipality acquires its streetlights, it could manage streetlight maintenance directly or competitively bid for maintenance service contracts. The legislation also authorizes the commission to require a utility to create a less costly electric rate for municipalities who would pay exclusively for the electricity used by energy efficient LED streetlights. (A.6912-C / S.5205-B; Chapter 495)


Bans Restraints on Female Prisoners during Childbirth strengthens the prohibition against shackling women in labor and expands the anti-shackling law to include any pregnant woman or woman during a postpartum period of eight weeks. (A.6430 / S.983-A; Chapter 570)

Mentally Incapacitated Parole Violators provides for a mental incapacitation hearing for an alleged parole violator, who may be mentally ill and unfit to participate in a parole revocation proceeding. In cases where such an alleged parole violator committed a new crime, the parole proceeding would be held in abeyance until the criminal court completed an incapacitation hearing under the criminal procedure law and the finding of that court would be adopted. (A.7685 / S.4780-A; Chapter 545)

Inmate Medical Form to Disclose Medical Information requires the Department of Corrections to provide all inmates with medical authorization and mental health treatment information consent forms and to make the forms available to authorized persons. (A.7501-A / S.5428-A; Veto 272)

Requires Additional Mental Health Training for Certain Prison Employees ensures that mental health training is updated annually for prison employees who work in direct contact with inmates. The purpose of the bill is to reduce inmate suicide and injuries resulting from inmates who suffer from mental illness. (A.836 / S.633; Chapter 518)

Inmate High School Equivalency requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to establish academic programs to prepare all inmates to complete the Test Assessing Secondary Completion and also provide an opportunity to acquire a high school equivalency diploma before release on parole, conditional release, post release supervision or presumptive release. (A.3838-B / S.979-B; Chapter 431)

Authorizes Release on Thursdays authorizes the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to release on a Thursday inmates who otherwise would be released on a Friday for the purpose of having such inmate report to their parole officers within 24 hours of release. This bill will ensure that parolees are properly supervised on their first weekends out of prison. (A.7814 / S.4905; Chapter 270)

Correctional Medical Review Board's Access to Autopsies ensures that county coroners and medical examiners promptly perform autopsies and toxicology reports of prisoners and jail inmates who die while in custody. The bill also requires that the results of the report be provided to the medical review board investigating such a death. (A.7825 / S.4903; Chapter 490)

Clinical Record Confidentiality allows the state's Justice Center and the federal Protection, Advocacy and Client Assistance Programs access to certain clinical records of disabled New Yorkers. (A.2143 / S.5680; Chapter 247)

Continues The Interstate Compact for Juveniles extends New York's participation in the Interstate Compact for Juveniles which governs the interstate management, monitoring and supervision of juvenile delinquents and provides for the return of non-adjudicated juveniles who have run away from home to another state. (A.7972-A / S.4906, Chapter 195)

Solitary Confinement Restrictions prohibits placing juveniles and people with both mental illness and developmental disabilities into solitary confinement, also known as a Special Housing Unit. The bill responds to the recommendations of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which addressed the use of solitary confinement in American prisons. (A.1346-A; Passed Assembly)

Pregnant Women in Solitary Confinement restricts the placement of pregnant inmates in the Special Housing Unit to those exceptional circumstances when any other housing option would create an unacceptable risk to other inmates or staff. (A.1347; Passed Assembly)

Sex Offender Registrants Residence and Domicile defines "residence" for clarification in the Sex Offender Registry Law and directs the Division of Criminal Justice Services to develop a notification procedure for mandatory reporting by offenders who have multiple residences. (A.1819-A; Passed Assembly)

Posting Parole Appeal Decisions on Web Site requires decisions from the Parole Appeals Unit to be published on the agency web site. (A.1984; Passed Assembly)

Holding Mentally Ill Inmates in Psychiatric Center authorizes the Central New York Psychiatric Center to continue to provide appropriate treatment to inmates transferred to the center due to a mental health emergency after the emergency has been resolved. Current law requires inmates to be returned to prison where they often experience psychological instability. (A.2009; Passed Assembly)

Reporting on Demographics by Board of Parole requires the state board of parole to track and report statistical information on the demographics of people appearing before the board, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, region of commitment and other factors. (A.2943; Passed Assembly)

Employment Discriminatory Practices requires employers to make a conditional offer of employment before inquiring about any criminal convictions of a prospective employee. This legislation seeks to curtail unlawful discriminatory practices against persons with criminal records and help to ensure that employers abide by the provisions of Article 23-A of the Correction Law. (A.2990; Passed Assembly)

Next of Kin Notification Upon Inmate Death requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to be responsive to the inquiries from next of kin and to provide them with a preliminary death certificate upon the death of an inmate. (A.7500; Passed Assembly)


Regional Farmer Markets Funding authorizes funding under the Urban Development Corporation to be used for the construction of regionally based urban and regional farmer markets. (A.228 / S.3441; Veto 199)

Urban Development Corporation Funding for STEM Education authorizes funding through the Economic Development Fund to provide grant assistance to programs which prioritize STEM education for women and minorities in grades six through 12. To encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the bill continues the grant program for five years and requires an evaluation at the end of that period. (A.968 / S.1960; Veto 276)

Expanding Products Farm Distilleries Can Sell authorizes farm distilleries, under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, to sell certain gift items. Under current law, farm cideries, farm wineries and farm breweries are already authorized to sell gift items. This legislation allows farm distilleries to sell the same gift items that the law allows the state's alcohol manufacturers to sell. (A.7001 / S.4800; Chapter 228)

Liquor Authority Temporary Permits extends the State Liquor Authority's authorization to issue temporary permits for new applications while vetting such license applications outside the City of New York. (A.7511 / S.4876; Chapter 123)

Role of State Liquor Authority Chairman Renewed extends for an additional three years the centralized and vested administrative and executive functions of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) with the chairman. Under the bill, such functions include budgetary and fiscal matters, appointments, development of alcohol awareness and training programs and reporting requirements. (A.7510 / S.4775; Chapter 78)

Financial Support for Farm Energy Improvement Projects requires the Urban Development Corporation to establish a grant/loan program for energy improvement projects for farms. The bill would require such farms to first participate in an energy audit before they are eligible to apply for the program. The legislation also would require grant or loan funding to be used specifically for projects designed to have the most impact on improving energy efficiency for farms. (A.1110 / S.2984; Veto 253)

Small Animal Care Instructions requires pet dealers to provide the buyers of certain small animals with information concerning the care of the animals purchased. (A.8058-B / S.5946; Chapter 557)

Nail Technician Training authorizes the Department of State (DOS) to provide an alternative trainee program for nail technicians. Under the bill, potential applicants can take the traditional route to become a nail technician or they can register as trainees with DOS and work on the job for one year, take a course prescribed by DOS and then apply to get a license. The measure also would increase the penalties for business operators involved in unlicensed activities with violators facing a possible misdemeanor charge. (A.7630-A; S.5966; Chapter 80)


Exam Disclosure, Teacher Evaluation, Testing Review, NYC Mayoral School Control provides $8.4 million to the State Education Department (SED) to eliminate stand-alone multiple choice field testing and to support increased disclosure of state exam questions and answers from the most recent grades three to eight English language arts and math exams by June 1st of each year. The measure also clarifies the required student growth components of teacher evaluations. It also establishes a content review committee to ensure all standardized test items are grade level appropriate and directs SED to undertake a comprehensive review of the education standards by June 30, 2016. In addition, the bill also extends mayoral control of New York City's public schools for one year, until June 30, 2016. (A.8323 / S.6012; Chapter 20)

East Ramapo School District Monitor authorizes the commissioner of SED to appoint a state monitor to oversee the East Ramapo Central School District. (A.5355-A; Passed Assembly / S.3821-A; Education)


2016 Presidential Primary provides for the presidential primary to be held on April 19, 2016 and for conducting the election of delegates to a national party convention or a national party conference in the year 2016. (A.8310 / S.5958; Chapter 87)

2015 Fall Primary requires the fall 2015 primary to be held on Thursday, September 10, 2015 and adjusts the political calendar accordingly. (A.7014 / S.4843; Chapter 16)

Board of Registration for Special Town Elections permits towns to establish one or more boards of registration to serve multiple polling sites. The bill would ease the financial burden that towns across the state encounter when complying with the current law, which requires each polling location to have a board of registration, along with several election inspectors who must be compensated for performing the duties of the board. (A.2439-B / S.5547; Chapter 372)

Political Contributions by Limited Liability Companies provides that limited liability companies are subject to the existing corporation contribution limit of $5,000. (A.6975-B / S.60-A; Passed Assembly)

Enacts the Voter Friendly Ballot Act provides specifications to create a ballot layout that is straightforward, clear and simple in order to make voting easier and recording a voter's choices more accurate. (A.3389; Passed Assembly)

Party Committee or Constituted Committee Spending Restrictions prohibits the use of funds designated for a party committee to maintain a permanent headquarters, staff and carrying out ordinary activities (housekeeping) from being used to support or oppose a candidate. The bill requires funds used for housekeeping purposes to be kept in a segregated account that is intended explicitly for such purposes. The legislation also prohibits the transfer or contribution of housekeeping funds to another account unless such account is also segregated and intended for housekeeping purposes. (A.7392; Passed Assembly)

Political Communications Disclosure requires all political communications, including printed, digital, visual or auditory, to clearly identify the name of the political committee that made the expenditure for such communication. (A.4286-A; Passed Assembly / S.2157-A; Elections)

Town Elections and Permissive Referendums requires special elections and permissive referendums that are initiated by petition to be held at the next general election unless otherwise specified in the petition. The bill also requires that propositions abolishing a ward system be held at the next general election and allows town special elections by town board motions to be held on either a general, special or biennial election. (A.4200-B; Passed Assembly / S.3293-B, Rules)

Availability of Absentee Ballots in Braille and Large Print allows for blind and visually impaired persons to request and receive Braille or large-print absentee ballots enabling them to vote independently. (A.2104-A; Passed Assembly / S.5085; Elections)


Underground Utility Facility Excavation Safety extends authorization of the underground utility facilities safety training account from October 1, 2015 until October 1, 2020. Funds from this account are used for educating and training operators of excavation equipment on the requirements of the one call notification system. Across the state, the account has been proven to be a major safety asset, reducing significantly the number of excavation accidents involving underground utility facilities. (A.7640 / S.5653; Chapter 126)


Listing Harmful Chemicals Children Encounter directs the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to post on its web site a list of chemicals that are found in items meant for children and pose a risk to human health. The bill would require manufacturers of children's products to notify retailers when the merchandise they are selling contains one of the DEC listed chemicals. The measure also would prohibit the sale of children's products that contain the most harmful chemicals. (A.5612, Passed Assembly)

Greenhouse Gas Restrictions directs DEC to establish greenhouse gas limits and a reporting process in order to address climate change. The bill defines greenhouse gas as containing carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride and any other gas that DEC determines contributes significantly to global warming. (A.6072; Passed Assembly)

Petroleum Storage Surety requires major petroleum storage facilities and "oil trains" to demonstrate their financial ability to incur the cleanup and decontamination costs of an oil spill incident. (A.7625; Passed Assembly)

Microbead-Free Waters Act bans the sale or distribution of personal cosmetic products containing microbeads, which are micro-sized pieces of plastic found in some facial and body wash products that pass through municipal water treatment plants and into bodies of water throughout the state. The beads enter the food chain where they can be mistaken for food by fish. These small plastic bits are capable of absorbing toxins that pose a serious threat to human health and wildlife. (A.5896; Passed Assembly / S.3932; Environmental Conservation)


Time Off for Cancer Screening permits public employees to be excused from work for up to four hours on an annual basis for the purpose of cancer screenings. (A.409-A; Passed Assembly / S.4894-A; Rules)

Employment Discrimination Against New Yorkers Banned prohibits persons whose primary residence is in a discriminatory jurisdiction from being hired by a public employer in New York State. Under the bill, a discriminatory jurisdiction is defined as those states that ban the employment of New York State residents from state or municipal employment. The bill responds to the actions of states that discriminate against the hiring of New Yorkers. (A.2078; Passed Assembly / S.2016; Civil Service, Pensions)

Permits Pension System Transfer allows police officers of the State University of New York to transfer from the New York State Employee Retirement System to the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. (A.4519; / S.3221; Chapter 561)

Helping Families of Fallen Police and Fire Fighter Personnel assists surviving family members of police officers and fire fighters who were killed in the performance of duty so that they can maintain their standard of living. (A.5057-A / S.4081-A; Chapter 23)

Pension Tier Adjustments authorizes Tier VI unified court officers and peace officers to retire with 30 years of service credit without early age reduction at age 55 and reduces the retirement age for unified court officers and peace officers. (A.6771-A / S.4907; Veto 209)

Retirement System Foreign Investment Level Expanded permits the state's public retirement systems to increase the amount of their funds' assets that can be invested in foreign equity securities from 10 percent to 12 1/2 percent. (A.6868-A / S.4005; Veto 234)

Protections for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers Continued extends the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force Act until June 10, 2020. (A.6962 / S.4711; Chapter 45)

Compulsory Labor Negotiations Continued extends the collective bargaining procedures between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Transit Authority, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority and employee organizations to July 2017. (A.6978 / S.4738; Chapter 28)

Civil Service Employee Protections provides bump and retreat rights to members of the labor class in New York State Civil Service. (A.7094; Passed Assembly / S.303; Civil Service and Pensions)

Public Employee Protections extends the provisions relating to injunctive relief to a public employee who has filed an improper practice charge. Under the bill, the employee would be permitted to petition the Public Employment Relations Board or the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining to seek injunctive relief in order to resolve charges of improper labor practices. (A.7373 / S.4932; Chapter 47)

Retirement Calculations Updated establishes a more streamlined and efficient way to calculate employer contributions for the New York State and local employees' retirement system as well as local police and fire retirement systems. (A.7670 / S.4982; Chapter 94)

Civil Service Examination for Members of Military extends the ability to take a make-up examination for service members who miss a Civil Service examination due to active duty for training. (A.7824 / S.4852; Chapter 404)

Whistleblower Protections removes the requirement that public employee whistleblowers first notify their supervisors of the improper activity they wish to disclose. Under the bill, employees would be protected in those instances when the supervisors are engaged in the improper activity that the whistleblower seeks to report. (A.7951 / S.4628; Chapter 585)


State Agency Freedom of Information Appeals expedites the appeals process when a trial court's ruling favors an information request made under the Freedom of Information Law by limiting to 30 days the time state agencies would have to appeal judgments against them. (A.114 / S.1531; Veto 274)

State Boards Information Disclosure requires the Secretary of State to compile and make available to the public information about state boards, commissions, committees, councils, task forces and other similar public state organizations. (A.1163 / S.1622; Veto 223)

State Agency Procurement De-Briefing provides unsuccessful bidders the opportunity for an enhanced de-briefing after the completion of a state agency procurement to better understand the reasons for not winning the contract. (A.2029-D / S.3450-C; Veto 294)

Pregnancy Disability treats pregnancy as a temporary disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. (A.4272 / S.00008; Chapter 369)

Government Fraud Prevention enhances the state Comptroller's ability to detect and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and improper payments by authorizing the establishment of an enterprise fraud prevention and detection system. (A.5056 / S.3757; Chapter 566)

Protecting Domestic Violence Victims from Housing Discrimination prohibits discrimination against persons who have been a victim of domestic violence with respect to housing. Under the bill, violators could face compensatory and punitive damages. This bill also prohibits evictions based on domestic violence status and establishes a task force to study the impact that one's source of income has on the ability to access housing. (A.6354-B / S.5053; Chapter 366)

Housing, Employment and Credit Discrimination authorizes reasonable attorney's fees to be awarded in cases of discrimination that are based on gender involving housing, employment and consumer credit. (A.7189 / S.00003; Chapter 364)

Discrimination Against Persons with Children Prohibited makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice to discriminate based on familial status. The bill addresses the discrimination women with children may experience in the workplace, where they are less likely to be hired, promoted or paid at the same levels as their male counterparts. (A.7317 / S.00004; Chapter 365)

Protecting Domestic Violence Victims from Employment Discrimination prohibits employers from discriminating against victims of domestic violence. Under the bill, violations would be subject to the existing penalties in the Human Rights Law to remedy discrimination based on race, religion and gender. For each offense, violators would face a civil penalty of up to $50,000 and up to $100,000 for violations that are willful, wanton or malicious. Attorney's fees, for certain proceedings, also could be awarded to employees who prove they were discriminated against by their employer. (A.272; Passed Assembly / S.2027; Investigations and Government Operation)

Assisting Domestic Partners in Homicide Cases assures domestic partners of homicide victims that they may seek the same awards as spouses from the state Office of Victim Services for actual out-of-pocket losses and counseling expenses. (A.3694; Passed Assembly / S.584; Finance)

Gender Expression Non-discrimination Act (GENDA) adds the category of gender identity or expression to the existing prohibitions against discrimination in the state's Human Rights Law. Current law makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status and certain other categories in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and the extension of credit.

The bill also adds crimes that were motivated by a victim's gender identity or expression to the list of offenses that are subject to harsher potential penalties under the state's Hate Crime Law. (A.4558-A; Passed Assembly /S.61-A; Investigations and Government Operations)

Public Office Pension Reform amends the state constitution to authorize the court to reduce or revoke the public pension of certain state and local officers convicted of a felony involving the breach of public trust. (A.7704; Passed Assembly)


Accelerate Access to Medical Marijuana expedites the availability of medical marijuana during the period before full implementation of and production under the 2014 Medical Marijuana Law. The bill would benefit patients who are suffering from progressive and degenerative medical conditions and also patients whose lives or health would be threatened by a delay in access to medical marijuana. (A.7060 / S.5086; Chapter 416)

Child Health Plus Coverage allows medical coverage under the Child Health Plus Program to take effect on the date of a child's birth and not just during the enrollment period. (A.7155-B / S.4745-B; Chapter 577)

Prescriber Prevails for Medicaid Managed Care requires that a prescriber's determination will be final when prescribing drugs within the nine drug classes and that Medicaid managed care plans must provide coverage for such drugs. (A.7208 / S.4893; Veto 191)

Outdoor Dining with Companion Dogs authorizes food service establishments to choose to allow patrons to bring companion dogs into outdoor dining facilities so long as the establishments comply with all sanitation and hygiene requirements. (A.5956-C / S.4327-A; Chapter 402)

Meningococcal Disease Immunization requires immunization against meningococcal disease for students entering, repeating or transferring into the seventh and 12th grades and adds meningococcal disease to the list of school vaccination requirements. (A.791-C; (S.4324-A; Chapter 401)

Breastfeeding Mothers Workplace Rights adds a provision under the Labor Law and the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights to grant mothers the right to take unpaid breaks at work to pump breast milk. (A.7202 / S.5183; Chapter 446)

After School Smoking Ban prohibits the smoking of tobacco products within 100 ft. of after-school programs, including the entrances, exits, or outdoor areas of any public or private elementary or secondary school. (A.5917-A / S.993-A; Chapter 100)

Local Input in Community Healthcare Act authorizes the Department of Health to close a hospital after determining that the impacted community's health care needs and access to health care services, including emergency medical care or transitional care, will be adequately met. (A.6417; Passed Assembly)

New York Health Plan creates a universal single payer health plan to provide comprehensive health coverage for all New Yorkers. The legislation would authorize health care providers to form organizations to collectively negotiate with New York Health. Under the bill, health care would no longer be paid for by insurance companies that charge a regressive "tax" in the form of premiums, deductibles and co-pays but instead by assessments based on ability to pay. (A.5062; Passed Assembly)

Bans Electronic Cigarette Smoking in Public prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where tobacco smoking is already prohibited. (A.5955-B; Passed Assembly / S.2202-B; Rules)

Avoiding Unnecessary Psychotropic Drug Exposure requires the benefits and side-effects of psychotropic medication to be explained fully to a patient of a nursing home or health care facility or to their lawful surrogate. The bill also requires a written informed consent be provided before the initial order or before an increase in the dose or duration of an existing order, and it also empowers patients with the right to refuse consent or to later revoke their consent for such medication. (A.7351; Passed Assembly)


DREAM Act provides immigrant youth with access to the Tuition Assistance Program and the state's educational opportunity programs, including the Higher Education Opportunity Program, Educational Opportunity Program, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program and the opportunity programs available at community colleges. (A.4311; Passed Assembly / S.1251; Higher Education)

Statewide Uniform Policy for Responding to Campus Sexual Assault requires the state's public and private colleges and universities to adopt and implement uniform policies and procedures to prevent and respond to cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Under the bill, suspension and/or expulsion may result from investigations and disciplinary proceedings, and on-campus orders of protection could be issued during investigations conducted by law enforcement. (A.8244 / S.5965; Chapter 76)

State University of New York (SUNY) Maintenance of Effort includes the three SUNY Health Science Centers (SUNY Upstate, SUNY Downstate, and Stony Brook) in the maintenance of effort provisions of the NY-SUNY 2020 legislation, which requires the state to maintain general fund operating support, including fringe benefits, in an amount no less than the amount appropriated and made available to SUNY campuses in the prior state fiscal year, unless the Governor declares a fiscal emergency. The measure also requires certain inflationary costs, including collective bargaining, fringe benefits, utilities, and building rentals, be included in such maintenance of effort provisions. (A.5370-A / S.281-A; Veto 294).

Pharmacist Collaborative Prescription Drug Management authorizes pharmacists to perform collaborative prescription drug therapy management with a licensed physician in order to improve a patient's care and satisfaction as well as the patient's health. The bill also would allow for the more efficient and effective delivery of medical care to patients. (A.5805-A / S.4875-A; Chapter 238)

Pharmacist and Nurse Immunization Authorization permits a licensed pharmacist and certified nurse practitioner to administer certain immunizing agents, such as immunizations to prevent herpes zoster, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. (A.123-B / S.4739-A; Chapter 46)

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Involving Minors designates engaging in sexual orientation change efforts by mental health care professionals with patients under 18 years of age as professional misconduct. (A.4958; Passed Assembly / S.121; Higher Education)

New Home Health Aide Program provides an exemption to the Nurse Practice Act in order to establish a program for "advanced home health aides." Under the bill, advanced home health aides would be authorized to perform advanced tasks, including the administration of medications under the direct supervision of a registered professional nurse. (A.7188; Passed Assembly / S.5855; Higher Education)


Rent Regulation Laws Continued and Enhanced provides a four-year extension of rent regulation, with tenant protection improvements to current law, including increasing the vacancy decontrol threshold from $2,500 to $2,700 and indexing this threshold to future Rent Guideline Board increases as well as extending the major capital improvement payment schedule from 84 months to 96 months for buildings with 35 and fewer units and to 108 months for buildings with more than 35 units. The bill also extends for an additional four years the Coop/Condo Conversion Laws. (A.8323 / S.6012; Chapter 20)

Property Tax Benefit Programs Enhanced provides a four year extension of the J-51 Program and the NYC Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement Program. It also revises the benefits under the 421-A Program. (A.8323 / S.6012; Chapter 20)

The property tax benefit programs in this legislation provide a four year extension of the J-51 Program and the NYC Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement Program. It also revises the benefits under the 421-A Program. (A.8323 / S.6012; Chapter 20)

Scaffolding Permit Renewal Ban prohibits the New York City Department of Buildings from renewing a scaffolding permit issued for a construction project by the New York City Housing Authority unless it is determined that such scaffolding is being used as part of an ongoing construction project. (A.2409 / S.5369; Chapter 520)

Equal Treatment of Manufactured Housing prohibits municipalities from barring the installation of manufactured housing on a permanent foundation. The legislation requires the equal application of local land-use controls and appearance criteria to both manufactured housing and site-built housing. (A.2362 / S.4193; Chapter 425)

NYS Housing Finance Agency Bonding Authority Raised increases the bonding authority of the New York State Housing Finance Agency by $3 billion to a maximum aggregate of $21.780 billion. (A.7912 / S.4978-B; Chapter 85)

Critical Housing Programs Continued, Sunset Dates Extended extends until July 23, 2017 the Federal Housing Finance Agency's authority to finance certain multi-family housing projects. The measure also continues, until July 23, 2017, the State of New York Mortgage Agency's (SONYMA) authority to purchase forward commitment mortgages, issue new taxable and tax-exempt bonds, provide primary mortgage insurance statewide and make available pool insurance to all of SONYMA's loans. (A.7912 / S.4978; Chapter 85)

Article 7-A Properties extends until June 30, 2018 the authority of New York City to permit evaporation of (or reducing to zero) liens on Article 7-A properties for municipally-financed repairs. This legislation also authorizes an administrator of such property to spend funds for the purpose of managing a building. Previously, the law only permitted an administrator to accept and spend funds to make repairs and improvements to a building. (A.7913 / S.5081; Chapter 48)


Sewer Backup Insurance Coverage requires the Department Financial Services to study concurrent causation clauses and their impact on sewer backup claims by policy holders. (A.453 / S.1454; Chapter 410)

Insurance Eligibility expands eligibility for blanket accident and health insurance coverage to such groups as civil defense, sports teams, camp operators and religious, educational and theater organizations. (A.1153-A / S.1761-B; Veto 277)

Insurance Utilization Review Acceleration requires health insurance companies to expedite the utilization review process when a court orders an individual to undergo mental or substance abuse treatment. (A.1327-A / S.4922-A; Chapter 371)

Pregnancy Enrollment designates pregnancy as a special enrollment period, allowing pregnant individuals to enroll in a health insurance plan at any time. (A.6780-B / S.5972; Chapter 581)

Student Athlete Accident Insurance permits the sale of student athlete accident and health insurance coverage at institutions of higher education. (A.7725-C / S.5925-A; Chapter 461)

Prosthetic Insurance Coverage requires coverage of prosthetic limbs by health insurers when medically necessary. (A.1178-B; Passed Assembly / S.1708-B; Insurance)

Partial Prescription Orders authorizes pharmacies to fill partial-quantities of prescriptions to allow patients to synchronize the refills of their medications for chronic medical conditions. (A.4036-A; Passed Assembly / S.2809-A; Insurance)

Task Force on Disasters establishes a Task Force on disasters to examine whether communities throughout the state have adequate insurance coverage which may be relied on in the event of a disaster. (A.4172; Passed Assembly / S.3758; Rules)

Prompt Insurance Claim Response establishes prompt investigation and timely response standards for insurers to comply with when settling claims following declared natural disasters. (A.4458; Passed Assembly / S.1398; Rules)

Non-Mail-Order Pharmacy Coverage requires health insurers to cover prescriptions filled at non-mail-order pharmacies who agree to the same terms and conditions as mail-order pharmacies. (A.6194; Passed Assembly / S.2530; Insurance)

Discriminatory Auto Insurance Practice Banned prohibits auto premium discrimination based on the education or occupation of the policyholder or applicant. (A.6834; Passed Assembly)

Hurricane Insurance Deductible Trigger requires the Department of Financial Services to develop uniform standards to identify the terms, in plain language, that trigger a policy holder's deductible in the event of a hurricane. (A.7537 / S.253; Insurance)

Veteran Prosthetic Limb Coverage requires health insurance carriers to provide veterans with coverage for prosthetic limbs deemed medically necessary for rehabilitation. (A.7545-B; Passed Assembly)


Name Change Disclosure Restriction limits the scope of information disclosed in a published notice of a person who has changed their name in order to protect the individual's personal safety. (A.2242 / S.5240; Chapter 241)

Treatment of Non-Respondent Parents clarifies and expands the role of non-respondent parents in child protective, destitute child and permanency proceedings in family court. The legislation would permit the courts to consider engaging non-respondent parents to participate in the care of their child. The bill allows for the court to consider the resources non-respondent parents possess that could be beneficial to their child's development and quality of life. (A.6715-A / S.5018-A; Chapter 567)

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act amends Article 5-B of the Family Court Act and the Social Services Law in order to adopt the 2008 amendments of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. These amendments will align the timing of the adjustment of the combined parental income amount with the adjustment of the poverty income guidelines amount for a single person and the self-support reserve. (A.7636-B / S.5685-B; Chapter 347)

Spousal Maintenance and Child Support in Supreme and Family Court clarifies that spousal maintenance is money no longer available as income to the payer, but constitutes income to the payee so long as the order or agreement for such maintenance lasts. The bill also establishes that the income to the payee is subject to the state and federal personal income tax codes. (A.7637 / S.5691; Chapter 387)

Duration and Amount of Maintenance and Spousal Support establishes new formulas for maintenance and spousal support and sets guidelines as to what the court can use to deviate from that amount. (A.7645 / S.5678; Chapter 269)

Enhancing Court Participation for People with Hearing Disabilities authorizes use of real-time stenographic translation and other supporting aids or services to enhance the ability of persons with hearing disabilities to participate in court proceedings. (A.7939-A / S.5533-B; Chapter 272)

Permits Filing of Legal Papers Electronically amends certain state laws to permit the electronic filling of legal documents for specific actions and proceedings by such means as email. (A.8083 / S.5833; Chapter 237)

Language Translations for Orders of Protection requires orders of protection and temporary orders of protection issued in family court, or in family offenses in criminal court, or in matrimonial actions, to be translated by an interpreter into the native language of the parties. (A.162; Passed Assembly / S.1788; Judiciary)

Attorney Fees in Frivolous Actions requires the awarding of costs and attorney fees in frivolous actions involving public petition and participation after a determination that the lawsuit was filed purposely to silence free speech and public participation. (A.258; Passed Assembly / S.1638; Codes)

Commencing Guardianship Proceedings requires individuals seeking guardianship for an incapacitated person to identify other individuals who may be capable of managing the affairs of the incapacitated person in order to prevent petitioners from commencing guardianship proceedings for the purpose of coercing payments for unsettled bills from residents of nursing homes and other long-term health care facilities. (A.6510-A; Passed Assembly / S.4642-A; Rules)

Jurisdiction of Foreign Business Entities in New York State provides that a foreign business entity's application for authority to do business in this state constitutes consent to jurisdiction of the courts of this state. (A.6714; Passed Assembly / S.4846; Judiciary)

Statute of Limitations for Recovery of Domestic Violence Damages increases the time period from one to two years in which an action to recover damages for injury arising from domestic violence must be brought. (A.7037; Passed Assembly / S.4902; Judiciary)


Minimum Wage Increase raises the state's minimum and tipped wage rate to ensure minimum wage earnings keep pace with inflation. The bill increases the minimum wage incrementally over a three year period to $12.50 an hour for Downstate (New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester) and $10.50 for Upstate on December 31, 2016. The wage would then increase to $13.75 Downstate and $11.55 Upstate on December 31, 2017. On the last day of 2018, the minimum wage would rise to $15 Downstate and $12.60 Upstate.

The bill also incrementally increases the tipped wage, beginning at $10.40 Downstate and $8.75 Upstate in 2016, $11.45 and $9.65 in 2017, and $12.50 and $10.50 in 2018 with the raises becoming effective on the last day of each of those years. In addition, beginning on the final day of 2019 both the minimum wage and the tipped wage for Upstate and Downstate would be increased annually according to the rate of inflation. (A.7257; Passed Assembly / S.5602; Labor)

Workplace Safety requires not-for-profit corporations to develop and implement workplace violence programs to ensure a safe work environment for employers and employees. (A.7721 / S.5130; Veto 242)

Workplace Discrimination Ban prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their or their dependent's reproductive health decisions and creates a private right of action. (A.1142-A; Passed Assembly / S.2709-A; Rules)

Elevator Safety establishes standards and guidelines for the inspection and maintenance of elevators and other automated people moving devices and certain requirements for the training and licensing of contractors or individuals responsible for the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of elevators. (A.1787; Passed Assembly / S.1945; Rules)

Paid Family Leave provides family leave with pay for injury or sickness, pregnancy or other family matters under the state Workers' Compensation Law. The bill expands the state's temporary disability benefits program to ensure that employees who need family care receive paid leave and are protected from employer retaliatory action. (A.3870; Passed Assembly / S.3004; Labor)

Child Care Needs requires the Department of Labor's work search regulations to take into account the need for unemployment insurance claimants to provide child care for their children. (A.4780; Passed Assembly / S.5661; Labor)

Partial Unemployment Benefits ensures that partially unemployed workers have access to unemployment insurance benefits by modifying the way that unemployment insurance benefits are calculated in order to remove a disincentive for unemployment insurance recipients to take a part-time job for fear their benefits would be reduced to inadequate levels. (A.4839; Passed Assembly / S.2873-A; Rules)

Wage Payment Violators Barred from State Contracts bans companies that have been prohibited from participating in federal public works projects because of wage violations from bidding on New York State public works contracts. (A.5414; Passed Assembly / S.3995; Labor)

Bans Gender Pay Discrimination ensures women receive the wages they are entitled to by prohibiting differential pay on the basis of sex. (A.6075 / S.01; Chapter 362)

Unfair Wage Practice Prohibited establishes that paying different wages between employees on the basis of sex, race, or national origin is discriminatory and an unlawful employment practice. (A.6937; Passed Assembly / S.02707-A; Labor)

Unemployment Benefit Eligibility requires the process for determining state unemployment benefits to include an applicant's inability to secure adequate child care as a compelling family reason for voluntarily separating from employment. (A.7004; Passed Assembly)


Mandate Relief, Local Government Borrowing Practices expands debt issuance options for localities by providing municipalities with greater flexibility to manage debt to meet the challenges and changing conditions of a community's financial needs. (A.6258 /S.4954; Chapter 77)

Industrial Development Agencies and Authorities Accountability requires Industrial Development Agencies to have standard application forms and uniform criteria for the evaluation and selection of projects and uniform project agreements. (A.7915 / S.5867; Chapter 563)

State Comptroller Audit of Local Corporations authorizes the Comptroller to conduct audits of organizations, such as local development corporations, that are created by, controlled by, and created for the benefit of local governments, industrial development agencies and other local government entities. (A.7056; Passed Assembly)


Psychiatric Care in Rural Communities improves access to psychiatric services for rural areas by authorizing the Office of Mental Health to make available to counties with a population of 80,000 or less a qualified physician for the purposes of examining individuals ordered to obtain assisted outpatient treatment or provide testimony during hearings under Kendra's Law. (A.6529 / S.5260; Chapter 382)

Services for Individuals with Disabilities supports the implementation of the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities' transition to managed care by requiring the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council to provide the Legislature with recommendations as well as an analysis of the programs and services provided to individuals with disabilities and how they will be impacted by the transition. (A.7053-A / S.5060-A; Veto 235)

Quality Service for People with Disabilities ensures the availability of quality services for individuals with developmental disabilities by requiring that a Health Maintenance Organization or a Managed Long Term Plan, which provides services to populations served by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, to have an affiliation agreement with entities that are experienced in serving people with developmental disabilities. (A.7200 / S.3638-A; Chapter 474)

Legal Assistance for Healthcare Facility Residents ensures adequate legal representation for individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness by providing mental hygiene legal services assistance to patients or residents who are discharged from a mental hygiene facility and are admitted to a state licensed health care facility. (A.1459; Passed Assembly)

Legal Representation Assured establishes the right to legal representation for any person receiving services from a program licensed or operated by the Office of Mental Health or the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities who is interviewed as part of an investigation by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. (A.3866; Passed Assembly)

REAL PROPERTY TAXATION Relief for NYC and Nassau County Property Owners Hit by Storm phases in and places limitations on increases through 2020 to New York City and Nassau County real property tax assessments that are spurred by necessary repairs made to real properties following the destruction caused by Super Storm Sandy. The measure permits these municipalities to limit the amount of property tax assessment increases that are the result of such repair or reconstruction. (A.5620-B / S.3688-B; Chapter 14) (A.7156 / S.5800; Chapter 411)


Maintain Directory to Assist MWBEs requires the Department of Economic Development to create and maintain an online registry of state, federal, private, and non-profit technical and financial programs that are available to minority- and women-owned business enterprises and small businesses. (A.7593 / S.2656; Veto 285)

Regional Advocates of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises establishes the appointment of regional advocates to act as liaisons for minority-and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) to aid in the resolution of concerns with certification delays, investigating complaints, and assisting in the certification process. (A.1259; Passed Assembly)

Commercial Fishing Advocate establishes a state Small Business Commercial Fishing Industry Advocate within the Department of Economic Development and creates a Small Business Commercial Fishing Economic Development Program to promote small businesses in the commercial fishing industry. (A.7507 / S.5444; Veto 300)

Funding for Microenterprise Development establishes the Microenterprise Development Act to assist small businesses with five or less employees by requiring the Department of Economic Development to institute a grant program for microenterprise development organizations to provide training and technical assistance to very small businesses and low-income entrepreneurs. (A.2063-A; Passed Assembly)

Small Business Innovative Research and Development Assistance establishes the New York State Innovation Vouchers Program to assist small business innovative research and development. The program would provide eligible small business recipients with vouchers of up to $10,000, and in the case of exceptionally innovative projects up to $50,000, to support the work, research and development of partners who have appropriate facilities to develop and commercialize innovative projects. (A.2126-A; Passed Assembly / S.3894-A; Finance)

Small Business Energy Assistance creates the Small Business Energy Assistance and Advocacy Services Program within the Department of Economic Development to provide assistance to small businesses with energy conservation and planning energy usage. (A.2521-A; Passed Assembly)


Public Assistance Work Requirement requires local social services districts with a population of five million or more, prior to imposing a sanction on a recipient for failing to comply with work rules, to determine whether the recipient is exempt from the work requirement and whether the recipient has appropriate child care, transportation, and disability accommodations. (A.4250 / S.3596; Chapter 562)

Work Exemption Option for Recipients Providing Child Care requires local social services districts that do not have sufficient funds to provide child care subsidies to all eligible families under 200 percent of the federal poverty level to have the option to offer a12 month work exemption to certain parents or relatives who receive public assistance and are caring for a child under one year of age. (A.1805; Passed Assembly)


Ticket Sales extends the laws that regulate the sale and resale of tickets to places of entertainment, including theatrical, sporting and cultural events, through May 14, 2016 in order to protect consumers. (A.6976 / S.4801; Chapter 15)

Bronx Zoo continues the one day free admission policy of the Bronx Zoo for an additional five years until July 1, 2020. (A.7728 / S.4119-A; Chapter 39)

African American Heritage extends the authorization of Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission for an additional two years until December 31, 2017. (A.7823 / S.5874; Chapter 390)


Aggravated Leaving the Scene of an Accident creates the new crime of aggravated leaving the scene of an accident without reporting for individuals who are driving with either a suspended or revoked license or with a prior conviction of leaving the scene of an accident or for driving while intoxicated or impaired and who leave the scene of a personal injury accident that resulted from reckless driving in which more than one other person was killed or suffered serious physical injury. Violators will face a class C felony and fines of $2,500 to $5,500 and / or up to 15 years imprisonment. (A.5266 / S.4747; Veto 279)

Veterans' Distinguishing Marks requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue refunds of fees paid by veterans to obtain a veteran's distinguishing mark on their drivers' licenses or non-driver identification cards. (A.6557 / S.1695; Chapter 149)

Seat Belt Requirements for Fire Vehicles and Ambulances eliminates the exemption from seat belt requirements for occupants seated in volunteer fire vehicles and volunteer ambulances, unless a seat is not equipped with a seat belt or the occupant is providing patient care in the ambulance. (A.7315 / S.4187-A: Chapter 448)

Agricultural Trailer Registration Fee authorizes the registration of trailers as "agricultural" trailers at a reduced fee for trailers owned by a person engaged in the production of plants, produce, livestock, bees, poultry or dairy farming. Under the bill, the trailer must be used only for the transportation of the owner's agricultural or dairy commodities or supplies or for personal passenger use, or in conjunction with lumbering operations connected with but only incidental to the operation of a farm. (A.5653-B / S.4241-B; Chapter 527)

Accident Reports requires the Department of Motor Vehicles, when processing accident reports, to give priority to reports involving serious physical injury or death in order to assist in the identification of accident locations in need of improvement. (A.3262 / S.5066; Chapter 429)

Municipality Traffic Ticket Fee prohibits municipalities from imposing a fee on traffic tickets unless a conviction is entered. (A.7230-A / S.5046-A; Chapter 578)

School Bus Safety establishes a "school bus motorist education program" to educate motorists of the dangers of passing stopped school buses in order to reduce the number of violations and promote school bus passenger safety. (A.458; Passed Assembly / S.1239; Transportation)

Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Report requires the Department of Transportation to conduct a statewide study of highway-railroad grade crossing safety, for the Governor and Legislature, to examine the adequacy of the crossings to prevent train and motor vehicle collisions. (A.5235-A; Passed Assembly / S.3458-A; Rules)


Burial of Indigent Veterans permits a county or the City of New York to request a congressional chartered veterans' organization to conduct funeral and burial services for indigent veterans. The state will reimburse the organizations for those expenses at a maximum of $2,000, exclusive of state and federal expenses which are already covered. (A.7867-A / S.5752-A; Chapter 579)

Transferable Property Tax Exemption allows a county or a city having a population of one million or more to adopt a local law, ordinance, or resolution to allow assessors to transfer the exemption, on a pro-rated basis, of a veteran who moves to a new housing unit within the same county or city in the fiscal year that the move to a different property occurs. (A.2646 / S.2938-A; Chapter 538)

Increased Maximum Exemptions increases the maximum real property tax exemption allowable under the alternative exemption for veterans and the Cold War veterans' exemption if the municipality adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution. (A.6223-A / S.4391-A; Chapter 381)

Information on Mental Health Assistance disseminates information to veterans and directs the Office of Mental Health and Department of Veteran Affairs to post on their websites information about the availability of treatment and counseling for Military Sexual Trauma. (A.1945; Passed Assembly)

Military Sexual Trauma requires the Division of Veterans' Affairs to develop plans and benefits to assist veterans who experienced Military Sexual Trauma while on active duty or during military training and require county and city veterans' service agencies to provide information on programs to assist this special veteran's population. (A.7260; Passed Assembly)

New York State Assembly
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