Authorizes the New York city council to "call up" any New York city department of health regulation for review.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city charter, in relation to authorizing the city council to "call up" any New York city department of health regulation for review
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation will create a similar "call up" procedure to the New York city charter provision that allows the Council to elect to review certain actions approved by the Department of City Planning.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends the New York city charter by adding a new subdivision h that includes the following sections:
(1) authority is given to the city council to review any New York city department of health regulation by voting to take jurisdiction within 20 days after the city department of health files its report;
(2)(A) eligible actions for review are those that were disapproved by the community board and borough president, those that were approved or approved with modification by the city department of health and the borough president files an objection to the department of health's approval with the council and the department of health within 5 days of receipt of the department of health's approval;
(2)(B) the council shall hold a public hearing within 50 days of receipt of the department of health's report that an application that is either subject to mandatory review or is "called-up" by the council and shall approve, approve with modification or disapprove the decision of the department of health;
(2) (C) if during the course of its 50 day review period, the council decides it wants to approve with a modification it can only do so by referring the proposed modification back to the department of health and the department of health shall then determine if the modification requires additional review, if further review is needed then the council may not adopt the modification, if no additional review is required then the council may adopt the application with the modification and when the council proposes a modification, the department has fifteen days to make its determination during which time the council's 50 day clock is stopped;
(3) a council action approving, approving with modifications or disapproving the department of health actions, requires a majority vote of the council;
(4) if the council fails to act within its review period, the council shall be deemed to have approved the decision of the department of health.
Section 2 of the bill sets forth an effective date 180 days after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Over the past several years the New York city department of health has made several regulatory changes that have had
broad and sweeping effects on city residents as well as those non-residents who work in or visit the city. Some of those regulatory changes were implemented solely as part of a rule making process and did not undergo any form of legislative review. This included the city administration's efforts to impose a ban on large size soda and other sugary beverages. A long standing legal battle continues today challenging the agency's authority to impose these restrictions solely through a rule making process.
The city council should be empowered to "call up" controversial regulatory changes that are made by the department of health in the same way that the council is empowered to "call up" certain land use decisions made by the city planning commission. This is especially appropriate when the local community board and the borough president have filed their objections to the department of health's regulatory action and the department of health proceeds despite those objections.
Allowing this additional review procedure will provide necessary checks and balances upon this agency when it imposes regulations that have a sweeping effect and have raised significant objections within the local governing bodies.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6189 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, in relation to authorizing the city council to "call up" any New York city department of health regulation for review THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 28 of the New York city charter is amended by adding a new subdivision h to read as follows: H. (1) THE COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ELECT TO REVIEW ANY NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REGULATION BY VOTING TO TAKE JURISDICTION WITHIN TWENTY DAYS AFTER THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FILES ITS REPORT. (2) (A) AN APPLICATION WHICH IS SUBJECT TO ELECTIVE REVIEW BY THE COUNCIL, SHALL BE REVIEWED IF SUCH APPLICATION WAS DISAPPROVED BY THE COMMUNITY BOARD AND BOROUGH PRESIDENT, WAS APPROVED OR APPROVED WITH MODIFICATIONS BY THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, AND THE BOROUGH PRESI- DENT FILES AN OBJECTION TO THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S APPROVAL WITH THE COUNCIL AND THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S APPROVAL. (B) WITHIN FIFTY DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S REPORT ON AN APPLICATION THAT IS EITHER SUBJECT TO MANDATORY REVIEW OR IS "CALLED-UP" BY THE COUNCIL, THE COUNCIL SHALL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING, AND APPROVE, APPROVE WITH MODIFICATIONS OR DISAPPROVE THE DECISION OF THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. (C) IF, DURING THE COURSE OF ITS FIFTY-DAY REVIEW PERIOD, THE COUNCIL DECIDES IT WANTS TO APPROVE AN APPLICATION WITH MODIFICATION, IT CAN DO SO ONLY BY REFERRING THE PROPOSED MODIFICATION BACK TO THE CITY DEPART- MENT OF HEALTH. SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL THEN DETERMINE IF THE MODIFICATION IS OF SUCH SIGNIFICANCE THAT ADDITIONAL REVIEW IS NECESSARY. IF SUCH DEPARTMENT DETERMINES THAT ADDITIONAL REVIEW IS NEEDED, THE COUNCIL MAY NOT ADOPT THE MODIFICATION. IF NO ADDITIONAL REVIEW IS NEEDED, THE COUN- CIL CAN ADOPT THE APPLICATION WITH THE MODIFICATION. WHEN THE COUNCIL PROPOSES A MODIFICATION, SUCH DEPARTMENT HAS FIFTEEN DAYS TO MAKE ITSEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10870-01-3 S. 6189 2
DETERMINATION AND DURING SUCH PERIOD THE COUNCIL'S FIFTY DAY CLOCK IS STOPPED. (3) A COUNCIL ACTION APPROVING, APPROVING WITH MODIFICATIONS OR DISAP- PROVING THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ACTIONS, REQUIRES A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE COUNCIL. (4) IF THE COUNCIL FAILS TO ACT WITHIN ITS REVIEW PERIOD, THE COUNCIL SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE APPROVED THE DECISION OF THE CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.