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A05679 Summary:

COSPNSRBichotte Hermelyn, Solages
Declares racism a public health crisis; establishes a working group within the department of health to promote racial equity throughout the state and address issues related to racism as a public health crisis.
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A05679 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 23, 2021
        Introduced  by M. of A. DARLING -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations -- committee discharged, bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to declare racism a public health crisis and to establish a work-
          ing group to promote racial equity throughout the state

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative  findings  and  declarations.  The  legislature
     2  hereby  finds  and  declares  that racism is a public health crisis that
     3  poses a threat to the health, safety, and quality of life to as many  as
     4  forty-seven  million  Americans;  and that racism negatively impacts and
     5  exacerbates health inequities among historically  marginalized  communi-
     6  ties. The legislature further finds and declares that racism contributes
     7  to  a national disparity between black and white infant mortality rates;
     8  and that racism contributes to inequalities in housing,  education,  and
     9  employment,  and  that  racism negatively impacts the lives of people of
    10  color in New York.  The legislature further finds that race is a  social
    11  construct  not  rooted  in  meaningful  biological differences, and this
    12  system unfairly  disadvantages  specific  individuals  and  communities,
    13  while  giving  advantages  to  other  individuals and communities.   The
    14  legislature further finds and declares that  the  impact  of  racism  on
    15  public  health deserves action from all levels of government. Therefore,
    16  this legislation establishes a working group to address  issues  related
    17  to racism and ensure the health and safety of the citizens of the state.
    18    §  2.  There  is  hereby established within the department of health a
    19  working group to be known as the "racial equity working group".
    20    § 3. The working group shall study  issues  related  to  racism  as  a
    21  public  health  crisis,  and  develop recommendations for legislative or
    22  other actions that can be undertaken to reduce or eliminate  racial  and
    23  ethnic disparities.
    24    The work group shall study:
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5679--A                          2
     1    (a) methods for community engagement and tools for government agencies
     2  to engage with communities of color regarding healthcare services;
     3    (b)  partnerships  to eliminate racial or ethnic disparities in educa-
     4  tion, employment, housing, and criminal justice;
     5    (c) measures to promote racially equitable  hiring  and  promotion  of
     6  employees, including in healthcare;
     7    (d)  support  of  local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that
     8  advance efforts to reduce or eliminate racism;
     9    (e) measures to expand understanding of racism and how racism  affects
    10  individual and population health;
    11    (f) secure adequate resources to successfully accomplish the aforemen-
    12  tioned activities; and
    13    (g)  social  determinants  of  health  and how they impact the health,
    14  mental health, educational and career opportunities.
    15    § 4. The working group shall consist of the following:
    16    (a) the state commissioner of health and his or her designee;
    17    (b) one member appointed by the state commissioner of health;
    18    (c) two members appointed by the governor;
    19    (d) one member appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
    20    (e) one member appointed by the temporary president of the senate;
    21    (f) one member appointed by the minority leader of the assembly; and
    22    (g) one member appointed by the minority leader of the senate.
    23    Members of the workgroup should  be  representative  of  disadvantaged
    24  communities  including  those with limited access to healthcare services
    25  and experts in minority health advocacy.
    26    § 5. The members of the working group shall  receive  no  compensation
    27  for  their  services, but shall be eligible to receive reimbursement for
    28  their reasonable,  actual  and  necessary  expenses,  provided  however,
    29  members  of  the  working  group representing state agencies may receive
    30  reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses from their respec-
    31  tive agencies.
    32    § 6.  The working group shall issue a report on its findings,  includ-
    33  ing any legislative recommendations to the governor, temporary president
    34  of  the  senate,  and  speaker of the assembly by December 31, 2021, and
    35  every two years thereafter.
    36    § 7. For the purposes of this act,  the  commissioner  of  health  may
    37  conduct  such study and report in conjunction with any other department,
    38  division, board, bureau, commission, agency, or public authority of  the
    39  state  he  or  she  deems necessary. To the maximum extent feasible, the
    40  commissioner of health shall be  authorized  to  request,  receive,  and
    41  utilize  such  resources  and  data  of  any other department, division,
    42  board, bureau, commission, agency, or public authority of the  state  as
    43  he or she may reasonably request to properly carry out his or her powers
    44  and duties pursuant to this act.
    45    §  8.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    46  have become a law.
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