Issues & Policy


Important Update

The City Bar's Legislative Affairs Department will now be known as the Policy Department. The Policy Department will continue to provide the same support services for our members and will now serve as the clearinghouse for all committee reports and work product. The Legislative Affairs section of the website will become "Issues and Policy" and will continue to feature our committees' legislative and policy reports, along with related bill information and resources to help committees enhance their policy work and get involved in advocacy. Similar title changes will also be made to the Department's Twitter and Facebook accounts. (If you aren't already following the Department you can do so here.) None of these changes will affect our members who are already following the Department's accounts, and you will continue to get updates about the City Bar's policy work without interruption. 

Please email the Policy Department to discuss any of these developments or your committee's policy work: Maria Cilenti, Elizabeth Kocienda, and Mary Margulis-Ohnuma

What's New

  • February 17, 2016 -- City Bar Recommends Changes in Procedures for Selecting Delegates to Potential New York State Constitutional Convention. Read the recommendations here.

  • February 17, 2016 -- City Bar Releases 2016 New York State Legislative Agenda.  Read it here.

  • February 2, 2016 -- City Bar Describes Troubling Court Conditions in Supporting Judiciary’s Budget Request for 2016-2017

  • February 2, 2016 -- City Bar Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Ethics and Campaign Financing Proposal in Budget and Seeks Certain “30-Day Amendments”

  • January 14, 2016 -- City Bar Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Call for an Expert, Non-Partisan Commission to Develop a Blueprint for a Possible Constitutional Convention

  • December 22, 2015 -- Governor Cuomo enacted two pieces of legislation supported by the City Bar. The first was supported by the State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committee and provides time frames within which service by mailing must be made both within and without the state.  The second was supported by the Corrections & Community Reentry Committee and Sex & Law Committee and relates to the restraint of pregnant prisoners during childbirth.
  • December 18, 2015 -- Governor Cuomo enacted legislation to clarify conciliation procedures in cases when the recipient of public assistance programs refuses to comply with employment program requirements in New York City.  This bill was supported by the Social Welfare Committee.

  • November 20, 2015 -- Governor Cuomo enacted legislation to amend the Breastfeeding Mother's Bill of Rights to include notice of the rights established by Section 206-c of the New York State Labor Law (the “Expressing at Work Bill”).  This bill was supported by the Sex & Law Committee.

  • October 21, 2015 -- Governor Cuomo enacted eight bills originally part of the Women’s Equality Act, which was first supported by the City Bar in 2013.  Included in the bills signed were two measures on which the Sex and Law Committee submitted memos of support: the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act and a measure to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made to pregnant women in the workplace.  A description of the eight bills that became law can be found here.

  • October 14, 2015 -- Members of the Government Ethics Committee provide testimony before the New York Ethics Review Commission, bemoan JCOPE's lack of independence and initiative.  Watch the hearing here.

  • September 29, 2015 -- City Bar President Debra Raskin testifies at Chief Judge’s Hearing on Civil Legal Services.

  • September 28, 2015 -- City Bar issues report and announces Task Force on Mass Incarceration.

  • September 21, 2015 -- Governor Cuomo announced he had accepted a series of recommendations from his Council on Community Re-entry and Reintegration aimed at increasing the ability of individuals with criminal convictions to contribute positively to their families and communities.  The Corrections and Community Reentry Committee wrote to the Council last year with a series of issues supported by the Committee over the years that could alleviate barriers to successful reentry.  The recommendations ultimately put forth by the Council included a number of solutions supported by the City Bar, including adopting “fair chance hiring” for State agencies, amending licensing and employment regulations that have been barriers for people with criminal convictions and increasing the number of individuals leaving prison who are enrolled in health care coverage.