COMRIE, GOUNARDES, JACKSON, MAY, SALAZAR, SEPULVEDA
Amd §23, St Fin L
Establishes the child poverty reduction advisory council to effectuate a fifty percent reduction of child poverty in the state within ten years and requires the director of the budget to evaluate the effects reductions to the state budget will have on reducing child poverty in New York state.
STATE OF NEW YORK
September 28, 2020
Introduced by Sen. RAMOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
AN ACT to amend the state finance law, in relation to evaluating the
effects adjustments or reductions to the state budget will have on
reducing child poverty in New York state; to establish the child
poverty reduction advisory council to effectuate a reduction in child
poverty in the state; and providing for the repeal of such provisions
upon expiration thereof
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative Findings. The Legislature hereby declares that
2 New York shall reduce the overall child poverty rate by fifty percent in
3 the next ten years. Nearly 3 million New Yorkers are living in poverty,
4 895,000 of which are children. In fact, 1 in 5 New York children strug-
5 gle to meet basic needs, and although several efforts have been under-
6 taken, the overall poverty rate in New York has failed to see a
7 reduction over the last decade. Meanwhile, the federal government
8 continues to slash those benefits that have been shown to have positive
9 impacts on lifting children and their families out of poverty. The
10 Legislature finds that reducing child poverty will protect the health
11 and general wellbeing of all New Yorkers and lead to long term savings
12 for New York's budget. To effectuate this reduction, the child poverty
13 reduction advisory council shall be established to research policy
14 ideas, develop best practices, and continually monitor relevant bench-
15 marks to ensure that New York remains on pace to successfully reduce
16 child poverty by fifty percent in ten years.
17 § 2. Subdivision 7 of section 23 of the state finance law is amended
18 by adding a new paragraph g to read as follows:
19 g. Prior to making any such adjustment or reduction authorized by this
20 subdivision the director of the budget shall evaluate the effects that
21 such reductions will have on child poverty in New York and shall make
22 such evaluation available to the public.
23 § 3. Advisory council established. (a) To effectuate a reduction in
24 child poverty in the state, there is hereby established an advisory
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
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1 council, to be known as the "child poverty reduction advisory council",
2 hereafter referred to as the "advisory council". The advisory council
3 shall carry out the required acts set forth in sections two and five of
4 this act, as well as any and all other additional factors, issues, or
5 concerns, established and/or considered by the advisory council.
6 (b) The advisory council shall be chaired by a representative of the
7 executive chamber and the commissioner of the office of children and
8 family services, or their designees. Ensuring adequate geographic repre-
9 sentation, the advisory council shall be appointed in the following
11 (i) two members shall be appointed by the temporary president of the
13 (ii) two members shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
14 (iii) two members shall be appointed by the commissioner of the office
15 of children and family services;
16 (iv) at least one member shall be appointed from each of the following
18 (1) the office of temporary and disability assistance;
19 (2) the council of children and families;
20 (3) the department of taxation and finance;
21 (4) a regional economic development council;
22 (5) a non-profit poverty advocacy organization; and
23 (6) a non-profit organization with a focus on poverty issues; and
24 (v) two persons who are directly impacted by poverty in the state.
25 (c) The members of the advisory council shall receive no compensation
26 for their services but shall be allowed their actual and necessary
27 expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Members of the
28 advisory council shall be considered public officers for purposes of
29 section 17 of the public officers law.
30 (d) The advisory council shall convene within sixty days after this
31 act shall have become law. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the
32 members of the advisory council entitled to vote on the matter under
33 consideration. Approval of any matter shall require the affirmative vote
34 of a majority of the members voting thereon. The advisory council shall
35 adopt by-laws for the management and regulation of its affairs, includ-
36 ing the creation of committees and subcommittees to effectuate the work
38 § 4. Appointments to the advisory council. (a) The legislative leaders
39 shall submit their appointments to the governor, and the governor shall
40 make his or her appointments, no later than forty-five days after this
41 act becomes a law.
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 § 5. Policy proposal review and recommendations. The advisory council
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) review the following non-inclusive list of policy proposals and
54 release a report outlining the effect that the enactment of such
55 proposals would have on the rate of childhood poverty in New York:
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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 vouchers; and
9 (v) expanding access to subsidized child care.
10 (c) investigate the effects that each of the proposals listed in
11 subdivision (b) of this section would have if enacted by itself, as well
12 as the effect the proposals would have if enacted in conjunction with
13 the 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 will
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 subdivision (a) of this section, the review of the
22 policy proposals required pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section,
23 the investigation of the effects of such policies pursuant to subdivi-
24 sion (c) of this section and the review of agency programs required
25 pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section on or before six months from
26 the date this act becomes a law.
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 date that this act becomes a law. In developing such policies and
30 procedures, the advisory council shall be mindful of how such policies
31 and procedures fit into the timeline created in subdivision (a) of this
32 section. In making such recommendations, the advisory council shall
34 (i) actions, in addition to those modifications, suspensions, and
35 otherwise changed, that can be done via agencies and authorities to
36 begin to reduce the child poverty rate;
37 (ii) the positive impacts that policies will have on work, marriage,
38 opportunity for education, and social inclusion;
39 (iii) the impacts that policies would have on racial injustice in New
40 York, being mindful that such proposals should not add to current racial
42 (iv) policies and programs that are tied to work;
43 (v) policies and programs that increase access to safety net programs
44 for immigrants and for undocumented persons; and
45 (vi) contextual factors that may impact a family, parent, or child's
46 ability to stay above the poverty line, including, but not limited to:
47 (1) stability and predictability of income;
48 (2) equitable and ready access to programs;
49 (3) equitable treatment across racial and ethnic groups;
50 (4) positive neighborhood conditions; and
51 (5) the individual health and well-being of the parents and children.
52 (vii) the cost to the state, including the short-term costs of the
53 programs and the long-term savings from having such programs in place.
54 (g) deliver to the governor, the speaker of the assembly and the
55 temporary president of the senate the recommendations of the advisory
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1 council as required pursuant to subdivision (f) of this section on or
2 before one year after the date this act becomes a law.
3 (h) release bi-annual reports starting June 1, 2021, detailing the
4 progress that the state has made in reducing the child poverty rate in
5 line with the recommendations set forth in this section.
6 (i) collaborate with experts in the field of poverty research, utilize
7 available data from other relevant statewide studies of poverty, and
8 solicit input from stakeholder interests including, but not limited to
9 persons impacted by poverty, non-profit organizations that assist those
10 living in poverty, individuals or organizations that work to end racial
11 disparities in New York, and child poverty advocacy organizations. The
12 advisory council shall also conduct formal public hearings, which shall
13 take place in at least four regions, as defined by empire state develop-
14 ment corporation, and shall be offered during non-traditional hours to
15 allow for persons unable to normally testify due to work requirements to
16 so testify.
17 § 6. Implementation of recommendations. Notwithstanding any contrary
18 provision of law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, agencies with
19 programs that have been identified as having current programs that can
20 be modified to cut the child poverty rate, shall take all actions neces-
21 sary to implement, in a reasonable, cost-efficient manner, the recommen-
22 dations of the advisory council pursuant to section five of this act;
23 provided, however, that the recommendations of the advisory council may
24 be overridden by a concurrent resolution to be voted on within forty-
25 five days of such report being submitted pursuant to section five of
26 this act and passed by both houses of the legislature.
27 § 7. Advisory council staff and agency liaison. (a) The commissioner
28 of the department of children and family services shall designate such
29 employees of the department of children and family services as are
30 reasonably necessary to provide support services to the advisory coun-
31 cil. The advisory council, acting by the chair of the advisory council,
32 may employ additional staff and consultants, who shall be paid from
33 amounts made available to the advisory council for such purpose.
34 (b) All state agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corpo-
35 rations shall provide such assistance as may be reasonably requested by
36 the chair of the advisory council.
37 § 8. Deliberations of the advisory council. The deliberations, meet-
38 ings and other proceedings of the advisory council and any committee or
39 subcommittee thereof shall be governed by article 7 of the public offi-
40 cers law. Any one or more members of a committee or subcommittee may
41 participate in a meeting of such committee or subcommittee by means of a
42 conference telephone, conference video or similar communication or elec-
43 tronic communication, provided that such communication allows all
44 persons participating in the meeting, and all persons observing the
45 meeting, including members of the public, to hear each other at the same
46 time. Participation by such means shall constitute presence at a meet-
47 ing. If a meeting other than an executive session is to be conducted by
48 means of a conference telephone, conference video or similar communi-
49 cation or electronic communication, the public notice for such meeting
50 shall inform the public that such equipment will be used, and further
51 identify the means by which the public may listen to such meeting.
52 § 9. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
53 sion, section, or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of
54 competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
55 impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
56 its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
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1 or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
2 ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
3 the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such
4 invalid provisions had not been included herein.
5 § 10. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
6 deemed repealed ten years after such effective date; provided, however,
7 that the amendments to subdivision 7 of section 23 of the state finance
8 law made by section two of this act shall not affect the repeal of such
9 subdivision and shall be deemed repealed therewith.