Eichenstein’s Bill to Reform Summer Youth Employment Program Passes Assembly

Legislation designed to ease burden on New York families, students enrolled in Summer Youth Employment Program

Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein announced that legislation (A6753A) he authored to reform the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) passed the New York State Assembly. This new legislation will make it easier for young adults to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program while not affecting overall household income as it relates to public assistance. It is expected to pass in the Senate this week.

“This legislation will make it easier for families who are struggling to make ends meet” said Assembly Member Eichenstein. “My bill would positively impact families in my district and across the State by allowing young people to get a head start on acquiring work experience without the risk of their families losing public assistance benefits. I encourage the Senate to pass this bill and Governor Cuomo to sign it expeditiously.”

It had recently come to Assembly Member Eichenstein’s attention that many young adults in New York have declined to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program this year because it would raise their family’s annual household income, causing them to lose vital public assistance benefits. Participants from low income families raised concerns about the program, designed to be an incentive for young people, because their annual household earnings were just below the threshold for public assistance.

In 2018, about 75,000 young people gained valuable work experience through New York City’s SYEP. Locally, over 12,500 young people were enrolled in the SYEP program last year, through two providers; National Society for Hebrew Day Schools and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, which are both located in Eichenstein’s district.

The new legislation would exempt income earned by persons under the age of twenty four in specific circumstances from the determination of need of public assistance. This means that families would be able to continue receiving the services they qualify for regardless of their children’s participation in SYEP.

Eichenstein added that the proposed bill would be of particular benefit to the residents of the 48th Assembly District which includes parts of Borough Park and Midwood and other areas with high rates of young people whose families are on public assistance.