Safe Injection Sites

Last night, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city will operate a pilot program for safe injection sites, making New York the first city in the US to use this approach to combat the opioid crisis. The Mayor’s announcement follows a letter his office sent to the New York State Department of Health seeking their approval to open four supervised injection sites. According to the Mayor’s office, these sites will be run by nonprofits and operated as a “pilot program.” If approved, sites would open following 6-12 months of community outreach in communities surrounding injection facilities. Ultimately, the federal government would have jurisdiction over injection sites under the “crack house statute” which makes it illegal to own, rent or operate a location for the purpose of illegally using a controlled substance. To read more about the Mayor’s announcement, click here.

 For-Hire Vehicle Hearing

On Monday the City Council Committee on For-Hire Vehicles held a hearing on several legislative items that would regulate the for-hire vehicle industry in New York City. The proposed legislation would limit the issuance of new for-hire vehicle licenses, establish a maximum number of for-hire vehicles affiliated with each vehicle base, and prohibit drivers from driving for app-based for-hire vehicles. To read more, click here.

 Sunnyside Yard Steering Committee

On Wednesday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced the formation of a 26-member steering committee to lead development of a site blueprint for Sunnyside Yard in Queens. Work on the master plan will begin this summer and is expected to take 18 months. The plan will most likely include residential units, affordable housing, schools and parkland. To read more, click here.

 Executive Budget Hearings Next Week

Next Monday, the NYC Council will begin holding oversight hearings on the FY19 executive budget that was presented by Mayor de Blasio on April 26th. During these hearings, the Council will review funding included for agency programs as well as urge Administration officials to provide funding for services that were not included or fully funded in the Mayor’s FY19 executive budget. Funding to provide subsidized metro cards to low income New Yorkers, property tax rebates for middle class homeowners, and increased funding for summer youth employment programs are expected to be among the services prioritized by the Council during these hearings as well as during the internal budget negotiations which will continue until the FY19 budget is adopted in June.