Today, Mayor de Blasio signed seven bills aimed at making New York the fairest city in the nation: Int. 741-A requiring the city to provide free domestic telephone service to individuals within the custody of the Department of Correction; Int. 779-A requires the Department of Correction to issue reports on the use of tasers; Int. 510-B and Int. 724-A requiring the disclosure of information regarding the rights of those seeking bail bond services; Int. 399-B and Int. 411-Aregarding Senior Centers; and Int. 981-A, requires online short-term rental platforms to report data about those transactions.
Department of Correction
Int. 741-A requires the city to provide free domestic telephone service to individuals within the custody of the department of corrections, and prohibits the city from collecting any revenue for providing said telephone service.
“This piece of legislation will ensure that no incarcerated person will have to pay to reach their loved ones on the phone and maintain crucial connections to the support networks key to their rehabilitation,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“Today we take a major step forward in the areas of criminal justice reform, public safety, and affordable housing. No one should have to choose between speaking to their loved ones and paying the bills and I am proud to say that New Yorkers with loved ones who are incarcerated will no longer have to make this decision. In addition, legislation to rein in illegal hotels and shady operators using Airbnb to the detriment of everyday New Yorkers will increase public safety and help preserve our affordable housing stock. I thank my colleagues in the Council for supporting these common sense measures and I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing them into law,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Free access to telephone service will help people in custody maintain strong ties with friends and family and will play an important role in supporting their successful transition back into our community,” said NYC Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann.
Int. 779-A requires the Department of Correction to issue quarterly reports on the use by Department staff of any device capable of administering an electric shock (Tasers).
Bail Bond Consumer Bill of Rights
Int. 510-B requires bail bond agents to post a sign prepared by DCA containing information regarding maximum premiums or compensation under state law, and how to file a complaint with DCA.
Int. 724-A requires DCA to produce a consumer bill of rights for those seeking bail bond services, requires bail bond agents to post a sign containing the information about the business, and adds additional protections for consumers seeking bail bond services.
“For far too long, New Yorkers have turned to the bail bond industry, which has a history of exploiting those who are economically disadvantaged and coming to them during a time of need, said NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Earlier this year, we took action against bail bond agent Marvin Morgan for engaging in deceptive and unlawful trade practices. These two new bills will allow us to continue to protect the economic lives of New Yorkers by requiring bail bonds businesses to provide customers with a bill of rights and to disclose information regarding charges, which will further hold bail bonds businesses accountable.”
Senior Centers and Adult Day Cares
Int. 399-B requires the Department of the Aging to report annually on participant attendance, services, budgets, costs, and rates of utilization at senior centers.
Int. 411-A requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure that all senior centers and social adult day cares that are food service establishments under Article 81 of the New York City Health Code are inspected on an annual basis.
Short Term Rentals
Int. 981-A requires online short-term rental platforms that provide booking services for a fee to report data about those transactions to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement. The report shall be submitted on a monthly basis. The bill creates a per-listing fine of $1,500 a month for each month of inaccurate reporting, or the total fees collected during the previous 12 months, whichever is greater.
“We look forward to working with our partners in the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement to help deter illegal short-term rentals,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.
“This law provides the City with the critical data it needs to preserve our housing stock, keep visitors safe, and ensure residents feel secure in their homes and neighborhoods. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this important issue that impacts all New Yorkers,” said Christian Klossner, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.