Bill S2424-2013

Requires members of a fire department in a city with a population of one million or more to reside in the city

Requires members of a fire department in a city with a population of one million or more to reside in the city.

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  • Jan 17, 2013: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

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BILL NUMBER:S2424

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to residency requirements for firefighters in a city with a population of one million or more

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to require all members of the uniformed force of the. fire department to reside in New York City for a year prior to the date of appointment and throughout the duration of their service.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends Subdivision 9 of section 3 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 209 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:

Beginning January first, two thousand eleven no person shall be appointed a paid member of the uniformed force of a paid fire department in a city with a population of one million or more that does not reside in the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which he or she shall be chosen for one year prior to being appointed and continues to reside therein.

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation will address the appalling lack of diversity in the New York City Fire Department, and the refusal of the city to comply with a federal court decision to remedy the impact of racially discriminatory entrance requirements and past practices.

Currently, firefighters can reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City or in the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange or Putnam. This bill would impose a mandatory residency requirement for all new entry-level firefighters and require all interested applicants to be residents of New York City for at least one year prior to appointment and city residency thereafter for the duration of service.

The black and Latino communities make up more than half the total population of the City of New York. Yet, the fire department is more than ninety percent white male. In contrast, more than half of the firefighters in Chicago and Philadelphia, and 40 percent of the firefighters in Boston are comprised of people of color. Unlike New York, stringent residency requirements exist in these other cities.

In August, Federal District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that the FDNY entrance exam was unfairly biased against minority candidates and does not successfully establish a difference between qualified and unqualified candidates. The decision would permit the city to do interim hiring as long as it was done in a non-discriminatory manner. However the city rejected the proposal, deeming it to be inappropriately race-based.

The workforce of the fire department should be reflective of the tremendous racial and ethnic diversity in New York City. Instead, the

fire department remains an institution largely unavailable to the black, Latino and Asian communities. A New York City-based residency requirement will increase diversity in the FDNY, while accomplishing this objective in a lawful and race-neutral fashion.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 90th day after it shall have became law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2424 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to residency requirements for firefighters in a city with a population of one million or more THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 3 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 209 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: 9. Neither the provisions of this section, nor of any general, special or local law, charter, code, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation, requiring a person to be a resident of the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which he or she shall be chosen or within which his or her official functions are required to be exer- cised, shall apply to the appointment ON OR BEFORE JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN of a paid member of the uniformed force of a paid fire department, who, for purposes of this section shall include persons employed as fire alarm dispatchers, or to the appointment of any person employed in a department of correction in the correction service classi- fication of the classified civil service, or to the appointment of offi- cers and inspectors who are employees of a department of health of any city of over one million population who resides (a) in the county in which such city is located; or (b) in a county within the state contig- uous to the county in which said city is located; or (c) in a county within the state contiguous to such city; or (d) in a county within the state which is not more than fifteen miles from said city. S 2. Subdivision 19 of section 3 of the public officers law, as added by chapter 509 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
19. Any person who resides in this state and who is currently employed as a member of the police force, a paid member of the uniformed force of a paid fire department EMPLOYED ON OR BEFORE JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN or department of corrections in the correctional service clas- sification of the classified civil service, of a city of over one million population, shall be exempt from the provisions of subdivisions one, two and nine of this section upon compliance with the procedure set forth in this subdivision. Any person seeking to benefit from the exemption created by this subdivision shall notify his respective employer in writing of said intention within thirty days from the effec- tive date of this subdivision and shall specify his then current resi- dence address. The exemption created by this subdivision shall be appli- cable only to said actual designated residence and not to any residence that any subject currently employed member may thereafter establish; provided, however, that any such currently employed member who resides outside this state shall have one year from the effective date of this subdivision within which to establish residence as required pursuant to subdivisions one, two and nine of this section and comply with the notice requirements of this subdivision. Said residence shall constitute a lawful residence for all purposes notwithstanding any provision to the contrary of any general, special or local law, charter, code, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation. SUCH EXEMPTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO PAID MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED FORCE OF A PAID FIRE DEPARTMENT IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN. BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN NO PERSON SHALL BE APPOINTED A PAID MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED FORCE OF A PAID FIRE DEPARTMENT IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE THAT DOES NOT RESIDE IN THE POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OR MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE STATE FOR WHICH HE OR SHE SHALL BE CHOSEN FOR ONE YEAR PRIOR TO BEING APPOINTED AND CONTINUES TO RESIDE THEREIN. S 3. Subdivision 5 of section 30 of the public officers law, as sepa- rately amended by chapters 200 and 209 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: 5. Neither the provisions of this section, nor of any general, special or local law, charter, code, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation, creating a vacancy in a local office of a political subdivision or municipal corporation if the incumbent thereof ceases to be a resident of such political subdivision or municipal corporation, shall apply in the case [of a paid member of the uniformed force of a paid fire depart- ment, who, for purposes of this section shall include persons employed as fire alarm dispatchers, or in the case] of a person employed in a department of correction in the correction service of the classified civil service, or in the case of a member of the department of sanita- tion of any political subdivision or municipal corporation who has five or more years of service, or in the case of officers and inspectors employed in a department of health of a city of over one million popu- lation who resides (a) in the county in which said city is located; or (b) in a county within the state contiguous to the county in which said city is located; or (c) in a county within the state contiguous to such city; or (d) in a county within the state which is not more than fifteen miles from said city; or (e) in a county within the state contiguous to a county described in item (d) hereof where the former is less than thirty miles from such political subdivision or municipal corporation, measured from their respective nearest boundary lines. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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