Weekly Report

Weekly Report for January 11, 2018

State Legislature begins 2019 session
On January 9, the State Assembly and Senate convened to start the 2019 legislative session. Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Yonkers) laid out the conference’s agenda, which included making the 2 percent property tax cap permanent. Last month, Governor Cuomo also stated that he would be pushing for a permanent tax cap in 2019. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (Bronx) laid out a similar list of progressive priorities, including reproductive health initiatives, gun safety, affordable housing, tenant rights and passing the Dream Act and Child Victims Act. 

Governor Cuomo announces date for State of the State address
Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address on Tuesday, January 15. He will likely combine the speech with his Executive Budget presentation and proposal. NYSAR will review and report on the governor’s budget when the legislation is released. 

NYC Council addresses spike in store-sign violations
The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to institute a two-year moratorium on violations related to store signs and awnings after a mysterious spike in 311 complaints that led to costly penalties for small businesses. The bill, which Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign, would also create an interagency task force to study the issue, waive or return fines for some past violations, and require the city to provide education and training to help small businesses ensure their signs comply with the law. Read more here

NYC Mayor de Blasio to announce new tenant protection office
Politico reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce the creation of the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants during his State of the City address scheduled for January 10. The office will be tasked with coordinating city agencies and initiatives that work on tenant and landlord issues. The state legislature may also take up the issue of new state rent laws later in the year. 

NYC vacancy tax proposal
New York City Mayor de Blasio said he will urge state lawmakers to approve legislation that would impose a vacancy tax penalizing landlords who keep storefronts vacant for extended periods. Read more here.

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