A05649 Summary:

COSPNSRHevesi, Mamdani, Gunther, Thiele, Simon, Meeks, Gonzalez-Rojas, Simone, Otis, Cunningham, Raga, Epstein, Clark, Dinowitz, Glick, Shrestha, Dickens, Jackson, Lunsford, Rivera, Shimsky, Seawright, Gallagher, Stirpe, Zaccaro, Taylor, Aubry, De Los Santos, Gibbs, Forrest, Tapia, Ardila, Bichotte Hermelyn, Levenberg, Davila, Kim, Mitaynes
Amd 17, Soc Serv L; amd 16-gg, UDC Act
Provides "WiFi service" internet access to all individuals residing in temporary housing; relates to funding for internet service under the ConnectAll digital equity grant program.
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A05649 Actions:

03/20/2023referred to social services
06/02/2023amend and recommit to social services
06/02/2023print number 5649a
01/03/2024referred to social services
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A05649 Committee Votes:

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A05649 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A05649 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to providing inter- net access to all individuals residing in temporary housing; and to amend the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to the ConnectAll digital equity grant program   PURPOSE: To ensure that all individuals receiving temporary housing assistance have access to the internet.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends section 17 of the social services law as relettered by adding a new subdivision 1 to require temporary housing facilities to provide internet access to all residents. Shelters must provide wireless internet service in common and private areas and have sufficient strength. Subsection 1 defines "personal information" and includes data privacy protections for users of WiFi in shelters. Section 2 provides that a related contract between a shelter and an internet service provider shall have the same terms and conditions as regularly priced comparable internet plans offered by the provider. Section 3 provides that shelter employees shall not be required to actively monitor or control the information accessed through the provided WiFi. Section 4 provides that if the WiFi requires a password, the password must be conspicuously displayed Section 5 provides that a temporary housing facility that is a hotel/motel shall provide free WiFi to those using the hotel as tempo- rary housing if they provide free WiFi to patrons. Subdivision 2 amends subdivision 10 of section 16-gg of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968, as amended by section 2 part MM of chapter 58 of the laws of 2022, to include funding internet access in temporary housing facilities to the duties of the Connect All program. Section 3 sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: According to the New York City Department of Social Services, most of the 450 homeless shelters in New York City do not provide WiFi for resi- dents. In a 2019 survey of shelter residents by the City Bar Justice Association, residents detailed their frustrations. Most were either unable to access the internet regularly or had to spend their limited resources on phone plans with data. For residents looking for a job or housing, or trying to access city resources, being unable to access the internet is costly. Residents reported that they lost out on jobs or had to use limited funds to pay for internet access instead of food or other essential items. For the estimated 114,000 children who live in shelters in New York City, being unable to access the internet has made remote learning inac- cessible. There are countless accounts of students who received laptops from the New York City Department of Education, but had no access to WiFi. In some cases, students received WiFi-enabled devices, but still could not access the internet for school because of spotty cell recep- tion in their shelter. This legislation would require all temporary housing facilities to provide internet access to all individuals residing in temporary housing in their district. That includes, but is not limited to, family shel- ters, shelters for adults, domestic violence shelters, runaway and home- less youth shelters, and safe houses for refugees. The costs will be reimbursed by the Stat through the ConnectAll program.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2021-2022: A8552-B/S3593-C Referred to Social Services 2020: A11108/S9030 - Died in Rules/Died in Social Services   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately. *1 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/nyregion/new-york-homelessstudentscor onavirus.html *2 https://www.citybarjusticecenterom/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HomelessNe ed-InternetAccess-toFind-a-Home-2020-Report.pdf *3 For example: https://citylimits.orq/2020/03/27/online-learning-means-newbarriers-for- nycshomelessstudents/ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/nyregion/new-york-homeless-studentscor onavirus.html
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A05649 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 20, 2023
        Introduced  by  M. of A. REYES, HEVESI, MAMDANI, GUNTHER, THIELE, SIMON,
          MEEKS, GONZALEZ-ROJAS, SIMONE -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Social Services -- committee discharged, bill amended,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to providing inter-
          net  access  to  all individuals residing in temporary housing; and to
          amend the  New  York  state  urban  development  corporation  act,  in
          relation to the ConnectAll  digital  equity grant program
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivision (k) of section 17 of the social  services  law,
     2  as relettered by chapter 424 of the laws of 2017, is relettered subdivi-
     3  sion (l) and a new subdivision (k) is added to read as follows:
     4    (k) require that all temporary housing facilities shall provide access
     5  to  high-speed  broadband internet service and WiFi service to all indi-
     6  viduals residing in such temporary housing.  The WiFi service  shall  be
     7  made  available  in  private  and  common areas accessible to residents.
     8  Such shelter shall have at least one router and at least one  modem,  or
     9  any  technological equivalent that performs the function of providing an
    10  area with high-speed broadband internet service.   For the  purposes  of
    11  this subdivision, the term "high-speed broadband internet service" means
    12  internet service with download speeds of at least one gigabit per second
    13  and  upload speeds of at least one gigabit per second, or if such speeds
    14  are not available the maximum download and  upload  speeds  commercially
    15  available  within  the  local social services district.   The term "WiFi
    16  service" means access to high-speed broadband internet through  wireless
    17  router which connects to the internet by wire or cable.  For purposes of
    18  this subdivision, temporary housing shall include but not be limited to,
    19  shelters  for  adults, shelters for adult families, small-capacity shel-
    20  ters, shelters for families with children, domestic  violence  shelters,
    21  runaway  and homeless youth shelters, shelters in hotels or shelters for
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5649--A                          2
     1  refugees. Each temporary housing facility shall  submit  their  plan  to
     2  provide  internet  access pursuant to this subdivision to the department
     3  for oversight and approval within one year of the effective date of this
     4  subdivision.  Temporary  housing  facilities  shall implement and comply
     5  with such plans within one year of such approval.
     6    (1) (i) A temporary housing facility shall not  use,  disclose,  sell,
     7  retain,  or  permit  access  to the personal information pertaining to a
     8  person residing in temporary housing obtained in the course of providing
     9  internet access except as required to provide such access without regard
    10  to content, application, service, or use of a non-harmful device, or  to
    11  respond  to  a warrant or subpoena issued by a court of competent juris-
    12  diction.
    13    (ii) For the purposes of this subdivision, personal information  shall
    14  mean  information  that  directly  or indirectly identifies, relates to,
    15  describes, is capable of being associated with, or could  reasonably  be
    16  linked to a particular individual, family, or personal device.  Informa-
    17  tion is reasonably linkable to an individual, family, or personal device
    18  if  it  can  be  used on its own or in combination with other reasonably
    19  available information, regardless of whether such other  information  is
    20  held  by  the social services district or temporary housing facility, to
    21  identify an individual, family, or a personal device.
    22    (2) Any contract or agreement  for  internet  access  provided  by  an
    23  internet service provider to a temporary housing facility shall have the
    24  same  terms and conditions, other than the requirements of this section,
    25  as the regularly priced comparable internet plan offered by such  inter-
    26  net service provider.
    27    (3) Local social services districts, temporary housing facilities, and
    28  their  employees  and  subcontractors  shall not be required to actively
    29  monitor or control the information accessed through the WiFi service and
    30  shall not be held responsible for any illegal and/or criminal activities
    31  committed, orchestrated, or organized through the provided  WiFi  access
    32  by residents.
    33    (4)  Where credentials, such as a password and username, are necessary
    34  to access WiFi, temporary housing facilities must conspicuously  display
    35  such  credentials in all public areas of the facility. Temporary housing
    36  facilities need not disclose the credentials  to  access  WiFi  that  is
    37  reserved for staff or emergency service use.
    38    (5)  Where a temporary housing facility is a hotel or motel as defined
    39  in section one hundred thirty-one-v of this chapter, and such  temporary
    40  housing  facility provides WiFi access to patrons at no additional cost,
    41  such facility shall provide WiFi to  all  residents,  without  discrimi-
    42  nation at no additional cost.
    43    §  2.   Subdivision 10 of section 16-gg of section 1 of chapter 174 of
    44  the laws of 1968, as added by section 2 of part MMM of chapter 58 of the
    45  laws of 2022, is amended to read as follows:
    46    10. ConnectAll digital equity grant program.  The  ConnectAll  digital
    47  equity  grant  program  is  hereby established to support individuals to
    48  have the information technology capacity needed for  full  participation
    49  in  society and the economy, including the effective implementation of a
    50  State Digital Equity Plan or any successor plan and to facilitate, fund,
    51  or reimburse, the provision of internet access as provided  in  subdivi-
    52  sion  (k)  of  section  17  and  section 153 of the social services law.
    53  Grants issued pursuant to this program shall be awarded in a manner  and
    54  form  as determined by the division consistent with all relevant federal
    55  laws, codes, rules, and regulations associated with the federal  Digital
    56  Equity  Act  as established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs

        A. 5649--A                          3

     1  Act. The division shall establish such State Digital Equity Plan and the
     2  procedures to solicit, receive and evaluate proposals  for  the  program
     3  consistent  with  rules,  regulations,  or guidelines established by the
     4  commissioner.
     5    §  3.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
     6  the amendments to subdivision (l) of section 17 of the  social  services
     7  law  made by section one of this act shall not affect the repeal of such
     8  subdivision and shall be deemed repealed therewith. Effective immediate-
     9  ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal  of  any  rule  or  regulation
    10  necessary  for  the implementation of this act on its effective date are
    11  authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
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A05649 LFIN:

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A05649 Chamber Video/Transcript:

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