Council and Mayor Close to an Agreement on Fair Fares

Several news sources reported that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson are close to a deal on the city’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget because a consensus has been reached on the “Fair Fares” proposal. The New York Times reported that the administration will allocate approximately $106 million dollars to fund six months of the proposal to provide subsidized Metrocards for residents living below the poverty line. The topic became the point of contention during budget negotiations between the Council and the Mayor. Politico reported that a budget agreement could be reached as early as next week.

Council Approves Opioid and Drug Treatment Bills

This week, the New York City Council approved a package of seven bills related to opioid and drug treatment prevention. The Council passed Introduction 615-A, sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala which will require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide opioid overdose reversal drugs and training to all staff members working in the City’s needle exchange facilities. Introduction 618-A sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan mandates opioid awareness and prevention materials to be developed and distributed to junior high school and high school students throughout the New York City public school system. The bills will now go to Mayor de Blasio’s desk for signature.

Proposal to Add 'X' Category to NYC Birth Certificates

Next week, the Council has a robust calendar of hearings scheduled, including a notable proposal to be discussed in the Committee on Health. The committee will discuss legislation to allow individuals born in New York City to have the ability to change their sex designation on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity. Earlier this week Mayor de Blasio announced through a press release, that alongside Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the City is working on a proposal to make birth certificates more inclusive to all gender identities. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene presented the proposal to the Board of Health on Tuesday and will now be the subject of a hearing in July. The legislation introduced in the Council will coincide with the Department of Health’s proposal.