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S09012 Summary:

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.
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S09012 Actions:

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S09012 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                    IN SENATE
                                   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.

        S. 9012                             2
     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
    10  manner:
    11    (i)  two  members shall be appointed by the temporary president of the
    12  senate;
    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
    17  entities:
    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
    37  required.
    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
    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)  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:

        S. 9012                             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 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
    33  consider:
    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
    41  disparities;
    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

        S. 9012                             4
     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

        S. 9012                             5
     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.
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