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S02755 Summary:

Add §131-zz, Soc Serv L
Establishes the child poverty reduction advisory council to effectuate a fifty percent reduction of child poverty in the state within ten years.
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S02755 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
            Cal. No. 1191
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 25, 2021
          -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
          the  Committee  on  Finance  --  committee  discharged,  bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
          reported  favorably  from  said committee, ordered to first and second
          report, ordered to a third reading,  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,
          retaining its place in the order of third reading -- again amended and
          ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading
        AN  ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to establishing an
          advisory council to effectuate a reduction in  child  poverty  in  the
          state; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The social services law is amended by adding a new  section
     2  131-zz to read as follows:
     3    §  131-zz.  Child  poverty  reduction.  1.   Legislative findings. The
     4  legislature hereby declares that New York should take any  steps  neces-
     5  sary  to  reduce  the overall child poverty rate by fifty percent in the
     6  next ten years. Nearly three million New Yorkers are living in  poverty,
     7  eight  hundred  ninety-five thousand of which are children. In fact, one
     8  in five New York children struggle to meet  basic  needs,  and  although
     9  several  efforts  have  been undertaken, the overall poverty rate in New
    10  York has failed to see a reduction over the last decade. The legislature
    11  finds that reducing child poverty will protect the  health  and  general
    12  well-being  of  all New Yorkers. To effectuate this reduction, the child
    13  poverty reduction advisory council  shall  be  established  to  research
    14  policy  ideas,  develop best practices, and continually monitor relevant
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 2755--C                          2
     1  benchmarks to ensure that New York continues to  work  towards  reducing
     2  child poverty by fifty percent in ten years.
     3    2. Child poverty reduction advisory council established. (a) To effec-
     4  tuate  a reduction in child poverty in the state, there is hereby estab-
     5  lished an advisory council, to be known as the "child poverty  reduction
     6  advisory  council", hereafter referred to as the "advisory council". The
     7  advisory council shall carry out the required acts set forth in subdivi-
     8  sion four of this section.
     9    (b) The members of the advisory council shall be chaired by  a  repre-
    10  sentative of the executive chamber and the commissioner of the office of
    11  temporary  and  disability  assistance,  or  their  designees.  Ensuring
    12  adequate geographic representation,  members  of  the  advisory  council
    13  shall be appointed in the following manner:
    14    (i)  two  members shall be appointed by the temporary president of the
    15  senate;
    16    (ii) two members shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
    17    (iii) two members shall be appointed by the commissioner of the office
    18  of temporary and disability assistance;
    19    (iv) at least one member shall be appointed by the governor from  each
    20  of the following entities:
    21    (1) the office of children and family services;
    22    (2) the New York state council on children and families;
    23    (3) the department of taxation and finance;
    24    (4) a regional economic development council;
    25    (5) a statewide non-profit poverty advocacy organization; and
    26    (6) a non-profit organization with a focus on poverty issues; and
    27    (v) two individuals who are directly impacted by poverty in the state.
    28    (c)  The members of the advisory council shall receive no compensation
    29  for their services but shall  be  allowed  their  actual  and  necessary
    30  expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
    31    (d)  The  advisory  council  shall convene within sixty days after the
    32  effective date of this section.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of
    33  the members of the advisory council entitled to vote on the matter under
    34  consideration. Approval of any matter shall require the affirmative vote
    35  of a majority of the members voting thereon. The advisory council  shall
    36  adopt  by-laws for the management and regulation of its affairs, includ-
    37  ing the creation of committees and subcommittees to effectuate the  work
    38  required.
    39    3.  Appointments  to  the  advisory council.   (a) Appointments to the
    40  advisory council shall be made no later than forty-five days  after  the
    41  effective date of this section.
    42    (b)  If  any such appointment is not made by such date, the appointing
    43  official may make the appointment  after  that  date,  but  such  vacant
    44  appointment  shall  not count for the calculation of a quorum until such
    45  vacancy is filled.
    46    (c) Any vacancies in the advisory council shall be filled in the  same
    47  manner as the original appointment was made.
    48    4.  Policy  proposal  review and recommendations. The advisory council
    49  shall:
    50    (a) develop and publish a timeline, inclusive  of  yearly  benchmarks,
    51  for  reducing  child poverty in the state by fifty percent in ten years.
    52  Such timeline shall be made publicly available.
    53    (b) consider policy proposals that shall include, but not  be  limited
    54  to,  the  following  proposals and release a report outlining the effect
    55  that the enactment of such proposals may have on the rate  of  childhood
    56  poverty in New York:

        S. 2755--C                          3
     1    (i)  expanding  and strengthening the state's earned income tax credit
     2  to align with the state's minimum  wage  to  cover  individual  taxpayer
     3  identification  number filers and young, childless adults and to be paid
     4  out quarterly;
     5    (ii)  expanding  and  strengthening  the  state's  child tax credit to
     6  include young children, and to eliminate the minimum income threshold;
     7    (iii) expanding work training and employment programs in the state;
     8    (iv) expanding access to subsidized housing; and
     9    (v) expanding access to subsidized child care.
    10    (c) investigate the effects that each of the proposals listed in para-
    11  graph (b) of this subdivision may have if enacted by itself, as well  as
    12  the  effect  the  proposals  may have if enacted in conjunction with the
    13  other proposals. The advisory council shall  include  the  cost  to  the
    14  state  related  to  the  implementation of such policies, as well as the
    15  projected savings in both the short and long term that the  state  could
    16  realize by reducing poverty.
    17    (d)  review agency programs that can be modified, suspended, or other-
    18  wise changed to immediately reduce the child poverty rate.
    19    (e) deliver to the governor, the  speaker  of  the  assembly  and  the
    20  temporary  president  of  the  senate,  reports  containing the timeline
    21  required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision,  the  review  of
    22  the policy proposals required pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivi-
    23  sion,  the  investigation  of  the  effects of such policies pursuant to
    24  paragraph (c) of this subdivision and  the  review  of  agency  programs
    25  required  pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subdivision on or before six
    26  months from the effective date of this section.
    27    (f) develop recommendations for additional policies and procedures  to
    28  reduce the state's child poverty rate by fifty percent in ten years from
    29  the  effective  date  of  this  section. In developing such policies and
    30  procedures, the advisory council shall consider:
    31    (i)  the disproportionate impact poverty may have  on  various  racial
    32  and  ethnic communities and what policies may assist in alleviating such
    33  disparities;
    34    (ii) ways to improve access to public benefits for individuals regard-
    35  less of their immigration status;
    36    (iii) policies that assist families to obtain and  maintain  financial
    37  stability,  including  policies that assist individuals with educational
    38  advancements as well as securing employment that provides a living wage;
    39  and
    40    (iv) any other factors that may impact a family,  parent,  or  child's
    41  ability to stay above the poverty level, including, but not limited to:
    42    (1) stability and predictability of income;
    43    (2) equitable and ready access to programs;
    44    (3) equitable treatment across racial, immigration and ethnic groups;
    45    (4) positive environmental conditions;
    46    (5)  the individual health and well-being of the parents and children;
    47  and
    48    (6) the cost to the state,  including  the  short-term  costs  of  the
    49  programs and the long-term savings from having such programs in place.
    50    (g)  deliver  to  the  governor,  the  speaker of the assembly and the
    51  temporary president of the senate the recommendations  of  the  advisory
    52  council  as required pursuant to paragraph (f) of this subdivision on or
    53  before one year after the effective date of this section.
    54    (h) release bi-annual reports starting June first, two thousand  twen-
    55  ty-two,  detailing  the progress that the state has made in reducing the

        S. 2755--C                          4
     1  child poverty rate in line with the recommendations set  forth  in  this
     2  subdivision.
     3    (i) collaborate with experts in the field of poverty research, utilize
     4  available  data  from  other  relevant statewide studies of poverty, and
     5  solicit input from stakeholder interests including, but not  limited  to
     6  persons  impacted by poverty, non-profit organizations that assist those
     7  living in poverty, individuals or organizations that work to end  racial
     8  disparities  in  New York, and child poverty advocacy organizations. The
     9  advisory council shall also conduct formal public hearings, which  shall
    10  take  place  in  at  least  four regions of the state, as defined by the
    11  empire state development corporation, and shall be offered  during  non-
    12  traditional hours to allow for persons unable to normally testify due to
    13  work requirements to so testify.
    14    5.  Implementation  of  recommendations.  The  legislature may utilize
    15  recommendations provided to prioritize the  implementation  of  programs
    16  and  services, as they deem appropriate, that would facilitate the goals
    17  of reducing child poverty by fifty percent over the next ten years  from
    18  the effective date of this section.
    19    6.  Budget  proposal review. No later than ten days after the governor
    20  offers any amendments to the executive  budget  submission  pursuant  to
    21  article  seven of the constitution, the advisory council shall submit to
    22  the chairs of the senate finance committee and  the  assembly  ways  and
    23  means  committee,  a report analyzing the proposals contained within the
    24  executive budget submission that are expected by the advisory council to
    25  impact the child poverty rate.
    26    7. Advisory council staff and agency liaison. (a) The commissioner  of
    27  the  office  of temporary and disability assistance shall designate such
    28  employees of the office of temporary and disability  assistance  as  are
    29  reasonably  necessary  to provide support services to the advisory coun-
    30  cil.  The advisory council, acting by the chair of the advisory council,
    31  may employ additional staff and consultants,  who  shall  be  paid  from
    32  amounts made available to the advisory council for such purpose.
    33    (b)  All state agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corpo-
    34  rations shall provide such assistance as may be reasonably requested  by
    35  the  chair  of  the advisory council.  Provided however, any information
    36  provided shall be kept confidential and  shall  be  used  only  for  the
    37  specific purpose of effectuating the duties of the council.
    38    8.  Deliberations of the advisory council. The deliberations, meetings
    39  and other proceedings of the  advisory  council  and  any  committee  or
    40  subcommittee  thereof  shall  be governed by article seven of the public
    41  officers law. Any one or more members of a committee or subcommittee may
    42  participate in a meeting of such committee or subcommittee by means of a
    43  conference telephone, conference video or similar communication or elec-
    44  tronic  communication,  provided  that  such  communication  allows  all
    45  persons  participating  in  the  meeting,  and all persons observing the
    46  meeting, including members of the public, to hear each other at the same
    47  time. Participation by such means shall constitute presence at  a  meet-
    48  ing.  If a meeting other than an executive session is to be conducted by
    49  means of a conference telephone, conference video  or  similar  communi-
    50  cation  or  electronic communication, the public notice for such meeting
    51  shall inform the public that such equipment will be  used,  and  further
    52  identify the means by which the public may listen to such meeting.
    53    § 2. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    54  sion,  section,  or  part  of this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    55  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    56  impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in

        S. 2755--C                          5
     1  its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
     2  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
     3  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
     4  the  legislature  that  this  act  would  have been enacted even if such
     5  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
     6    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall  expire  and  be
     7  deemed repealed ten years after such effective date.
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