2016 Legislative Women’s Caucus Legislative Report

Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo, Chair

The 2016 legislative session produced several bills uniquely affecting women. The following identifies legislation that passed the Assembly, Senate and signed in to law by the Governor.

Child Care

Map of Publicly Funded Programs: Directs the council on children and families to establish an online listing and map of publicly funded or registered afterschool and school age child care programs. (S7119 Kennedy/A1869 Mayer; Passed Assembly)

Post Additional Qualifications of Day Care Providers: Allow providers the ability to post their completed training and credentialing achievements on the New York State Office of Children and Family Services website. This will help the credibility of providers and aid parents in their search for quality child care. (S742 Kennedy/A1864 Mayer; Passed Both Houses)

Statewide Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register: Clarify the statute providing law enforcement entities with access to child protective records. (S6384A Amedore/ A9166 Fahy; Chapter 13)

Children Hearing Participation: This bill is to require actual notice of and establish a statutory right for the child to attend a permanency hearing regarding the plan for a youth in foster case. (S6389A Felder/A9178 Lupardo; Chapter 14)

Reimbursement for Child Care Absences: Requires local Department of Social Services make payments to providers for at least 12 absences in a 6 month period. OCFS would set the maximum number of absences allowed for reimbursement, which would not be less than 24 absences in a 6 month period, unless extenuating circumstances exist. (S5009 Felder/A6568 Lupardo; Passed Assembly)

Adequate Reimbursements: Further protections for child care providers would reduce financial shortfalls by aligning reimbursement rates with current licensing standards for children up to two years of age and ensuring that home based providers receive and adequate subsidy to compensate for the level of care that is being provided. (A7191 Simotas; Passed Assembly)

Child Care Needs: Require the state Department of Labor to take child care need into account when considering unemployment work search requirements.(S5661 Sander/A4780 Solages; Passed Assembly)

Illegal Operating Child Day Cares Services: This bill provide greater protection to families in regard to child care operations by mandating the office of children and family services to investigate current child care operations advertising their services in New York State. (S1706 Golden/A7451-A Joyner; Passed Both Houses)

Caretakers Subsidy: Provides that parents and caretakers who are otherwise eligible for a child care subsidy shall receive a subsidy when care is necessary to enable them to sleep because they work a late shift and have a child who is under the age of six and not in school for a full school day; further provides that the authorization for a subsidy shall be sufficient to allow the parent to obtain eight hours of sleep. (S5184A Savino/ A775B Jaffee; Passed Assembly)

Child Care Center: This legislation would permit SUNY Old Westbury to lease lands to the Old Westbury College Foundation, Inc. for the purpose of creating a child care center to serve students, faculty, staff and the local community. (S6837B Marcellino/A9413B Lavine; Chapter 271)


Employment Discrimination against Reproductive Health: Prohibit employers from discriminating or taking any retaliatory personnel action based on employees’ or their dependents reproductive health decisions. (S2709A Krueger/A1142-A Jaffee; Passed Assembly)

Domestic Relations

Spousal and Child Support: Amend the domestic relations law, in relation to providing additional enforcement mechanisms for collection of spousal or child support. (S5189 Bonacic/A7253 Weinstein; Chapter 365)

Domestic Violence

The Purchasing or Possessing a Firearm: Improve public safety and prevent domestic violence incidents from escalating into greater violence by keeping guns out of the hand of the perpetrators. (A6340 O’Donnell; Passed Assembly)

Surrender of Weapons: To require the immediate surrender of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, black powder rifles, black powder shotguns, muzzle-loading firearms and antique firearms that are owned or possessed by a person upon his or her conviction of offenses determined to be misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. (A5257 Paulin; Passed Assembly)

Prohibit Discrimination: This bill would prohibit discrimination against victims of domestic violence in employment and provide a limited reasonable accommodation provision. (S2027 Hassell-Thompson/A272 Weinstein; Passed Assembly)

Aid Domestic Violence Victims: Requires hospitals to establish policies and procedures regarding domestic violence; establishes ongoing training programs on domestic violence for all current and new hospital employees; designates a hospital staff member to coordinate services to victims; provides for the interaction of hospitals with community domestic violence service providers in order to coordinate services to victims of domestic violence; requires hospitals to offer to contact a local advocate when admitting or treating a confirmed or suspected victim of domestic violence. (S1067 Parker/A1232 Lavine; Passed Assembly)

Orders of Protection Be Translated: To require the court to direct a court appointed interpreter who has been appointed to assist in a proceeding, to translate into the appropriate language on the record the essential terms outlined by the court of any temporary or final order of protection issued by the court. (S1788 Espaillat/A162 Weinstein; Passed Assembly)

Release Domestic Violence Victims for Cell Phone Contact: Requires wireless telephone companies that offer shared or family plans to allow victims of domestic violence to be released from the account without penalty in instances of domestic violence. (S1406 Parker/A326 Rozic; Passed Assembly)

Release Domestic Violence Victims for Cable Contract: To allow victims of domestic violence to cancel cable, internet or phone contracts when there is a domestic violence incident report, a police report, an order of protection, or a signed affidavit. (A274A Rozic; Passed Assembly)

Allow Referees to Determine Order of Protection Applications: Extends the chief administrator of the courts' authority to allow referees to determine certain applications to a family court for an order of protection; extends for two more years, the judicial hearing officer pilot program in the family courts of the seventh and eighth judicial districts for ordering a reference to determine an application for an order of protection or temporary order of protection in certain cases. (S7351 Bonacic/ A9686 Bronson; Chapter 48)

Failure to Obey Order of Protection: This bill would remove parties who fail to obey of enforce an order of protection from limited liability protections. (A260 Weinstein; Passed Assembly)

Designate Alternative Contact Information: Requires health insurers allow victims of domestic violence to designate alternative contact information to receive claim and billing information with respect to their on-going medical care, and require the insurer to protect the confidentiality of this contract information. (A1358 Cymbrowitz; Passed Assembly)


School Districts Water Testing: This bill would require school districts and boards of cooperative educational services to conduct periodic testing of the potable water systems in their school buildings to monitor for lead contamination, and would provide State aid to reimburse a portion of the cost of such testing and the associated remediation.

(S8158 O’Mara/A10740 Lupardo; Chapter 296)

Health Education: This bill calls on school districts to ensure that their health education programs recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health and the relation between mental and physical health in health education. (S6047 Marcellino/A3887B Nolan; Chapter 390)

Family Leaves

Paid Family Leave Act: The Paid Family Leave Act will enable all workers to maintain employment and still receive some income while on leave to care for and elderly relative, manage an unexpected medical emergency, bond with a newborn or adopted child.

(S3004 Addabbo/A3870 Nolan; Passed Assembly)


Pregnant Women Enrollment in State Health Insurance: Amend the insurance law and a chapter of the laws of 2015 amending the insurance law and the public health law relating to permitting pregnant women to enroll in the state health insurance exchange at any time, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 5972 and A. 6780-B, in relation to enrollment periods for pregnant women in health maintainers organizations; and to repeal certain provisions of the insurance law and the public health law. (S6429A Seward/A9223 Simotas; Chapter 11)

Tax Exempt Feminine Hygiene Products: The purpose of this legislation is to exempt feminine hygiene products, including but not limited to, sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners from New York State sales and use tax. (S7838 Serino/A7555 Rosenthal; Chapter 99)

Stop the Use of Pesticides: Prohibits the use of pesticides at children’s overnight or summer day camps; provides an exception where emergency application is approved by local or state officials. (S1420 Carlucci/A129 Paulin; Passed Assembly)

Birthing Centers: To establish and operate of midwifery birth centers. (S4325 Hannon/A446 Gottfried; Passed Both Houses)

Human Trafficking

Safe Housing for Trafficking Victims: Requires the State Office of Temporary and Disability Services to make safe accessible housing available to victims of human trafficking. (A2953A Lentol; Passed Assembly)

Target Locations and Trafficking Network: Establish a statewide hotline to report suspicions of human trafficking. With the establishment of a toll-free number, victims of human trafficking, or those who witness suspicious activity, may quickly connect with the Attorney General's office, which can then swiftly investigate and refer human trafficking cases for prosecution. (S 4331 Funke/A2636 Hevesi; Passed Assembly)

Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking: Extend and expand upon the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking originally established in 2007 and set to expire this year, until 2019. The Task Force is responsible for collecting and analyzing data on human trafficking, identifying social service programs for victims, developing recommendations for prevention, protection and assisting victims, establishing protocols for law enforcement and related organizations, and increasing public awareness. (S4763 Funke/A551 Hevesi; Passed Assembly and Senate)

Recognize Signs of Human Trafficking: Establish training for employees of hotel and gaming facilities to recognize signs of human trafficking. (A3419 Titone; Passed Assembly)

Pay Equity

New York State Fair Pay Act: Prohibits the payment of differential wages between employees on the basis of gender, race or national origin and protect workers against retaliation by employers for sharing wage information with their colleagues. (S2707 Savino/A6937 Titus; Passed Assembly)

Fair and Equal Pay: Implements state policy of fair and equal pay for equivalent value of work; provides that the principle of fair and equal pay for similar work and for equivalent value of work shall be followed in the classification and reclassification and the allocation and reallocation of positions and all positions having the same title shall be allocated the same salary grade. (S4936 Avella/A1574 Jaffee; Passed Assembly)

Civil Service Job Titles: Seeks to comply with the federal equal pay act of 1963 by implementing a state policy of compensating employees in state service equally for work of comparable value by eliminating wage inequality in job titles having been segregated by sex, race or national origin; requires the president of the civil service commission to report annually to the legislature and the governor on those segregated titles for which wage disparity exists; mandates governor to appropriate monies to ensure wage disparities are corrected.

(S3249 Montgomery/A0437 Rosenthal; Passed Assembly)

Wage Disparities Report: Directs the president of the civil service commission to study and publish a report evaluating public employers wage disparities related to the job titles segregated by the gender, race and/or national origin of the employees in the title.

(S3786 Parker/A5008 Lifton; Passed Assembly)

Recruitment and Job Training: Directs the commissioner of labor and the president of the civil service commission to prepare reports on how many women were referred to counseling or skills development and training for jobs and careers that offer higher earning potential, including jobs traditionally dominated by men. (S7291 Robach/A9755 Jaffee; Passed Both Houses)

Equal Pay for Equal Work: To ensure public employees have a mechanism to enforce their right to equal pay for equal and equivalent work. (A9754 Simotas; Passed Assembly)

Reproductive Health Services

Reproductive Rights: New York State will guarantee and protect access to women’s reproductive health services, as established by the United States Supreme Court in the decision Roe v. Wade. (S4432 Stewart-Cousins/A6221 Glick; Passed Assembly)

Dependents’ Reproductive Health Decisions: Prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on the employees' or dependent's reproductive health decisions. (S2709A Krueger/A1142-A Jaffee; Passed Assembly)

FDA Approved Contraceptive Products: Amend the insurance law, the social services law, the education law and the public health law, in relation to requiring health insurance policies to include coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and products, as well as voluntary sterilization procedures, contraceptive education and counseling, and related follow up services and prohibiting a health insurance policy from imposing any cost-sharing requirements or other restrictions or delays with respect to this coverage.

(S6013A Bonacic/A8135B Cahill; Passed Assembly)

Sexual Assault

Define the Definition of Rape: This bill would amend the definition of rape to include other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct that are currently recognized by the law as criminal sexual acts and would remove the penetration requirement from the statutes. (A4959-A Simotas; Passed Assembly)

Military Sexual Trauma: Requires veteran organizations to provide assistance to veterans which adequately addresses military sexual trauma experienced by veterans due to their military service. (A7260/Russell; Passed Assembly)

Women and Working Families

Caseload Standards for Child Protective Workers: Amend the social services law, in relation to directing the Office of Children and Family Services to establish workload standards for child protective services workers. (S2691 Golden/A10506 Lupardo; Passed Both Houses)

Stop Discrimination on Familial Status: Prohibit discrimination against an individual's familial status for purposes relating to hiring, employment and volunteer practices. (A6183 Russell; Passed Assembly)

Child Care for Working Families: Provides that parents and caretakers who are otherwise eligible for a child care subsidy shall receive a subsidy when care is necessary to enable them to sleep because they work a late shift and have a child who is under the age of six and not in school for a full school day; further provides that the authorization for a subsidy shall be sufficient to allow the parent to obtain eight hours of sleep. (S518 Savino/A775 Jaffee; Passed Assembly)

Unemployment Benefits: Allows child care as a compelling family reason to separate from employment, allowing otherwise eligible parents to apply for unemployment benefits. (A7004 Lupardo; Passed Assembly)

Work Exemption: Allow a 12 month work exemption for households receiving public assistance with a child under the age of one, provided that the commissioner of social services district is unable to provide all eligible working families with child assistance. (S5176 Avella/A1805 Titus; Passed Assembly)


Susan B. Anthony House: Amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, to add the Susan B. Anthony house to the resident curator program in the eleventh park region. (S7522 Little/A9781 Woerner; Chapter 382)