Committee Reports

2016 New York State Legislative Agenda


The City Bar’s 2016 New York State Legislative Agenda represents only a portion of the dozens of positions generated by our committees over the course of each legislative session. It focuses on issues that are relevant to the current legislative debate or of particular importance to the City Bar, as well as legislative proposals drafted by our committees.

The following are the agenda items for 2016:

  • Support efforts to bring meaningful ethics, rules and campaign finance reform to Albany.
  • Support the Judiciary’s 2016-17 Budget Request, including adequate funding for civil legal services.
  • Advance policies and reforms that will reduce mass incarceration, starting with raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old for all crimes, enhancing alternatives to incarceration, and allowing for sealing of criminal records under certain circumstances.
  • Support legislation that would allow New York to recognize equivalent out-of-state occupational licenses for military spouses.
  • Extend Temporary Disability Insurance benefits to cover family care leave from the workplace.
  • Building on the progress achieved through last year’s enactment of much of the Women’s Equality Act, support efforts to: 1) permit the award of reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and exemplary damages to a prevailing plaintiff in all cases involving unlawful discriminatory practices under the New York Human Rights Law, not just in cases of gender discrimination; and 2) recognize a woman’s fundamental right to make decisions regarding her reproductive health, and makes a clear affirmative statement that all New Yorkers have the right to use, or refuse, contraceptives and that all New York women have the right to carry a pregnancy to term or to terminate a pregnancy.
  • Modernize New York’s public procurement construction laws to provide public owners with a wider variety of procurement and delivery modes, as necessary and appropriate, to reduce costs, speed delivery and improve quality and safety.
  • Support access to justice initiatives, including proposals to consolidate the state’s major trial courts and requiring judicial appointments by a commission of lawyers and non-lawyers.
  • Advance City Bar-drafted bill to amend the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law to enhance protections under the law for art authenticators.
  • Support legislation to reform and modernize the administration of class actions in New York’s courts by amending Article 9 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
  • Advance legislation, along with the New York State Bar Association, to amend the Judiciary Law to provide that communications between a consumer of legal services and a legal referral service or lawyer referral service be deemed to be privileged on the same basis as the privilege provided by law for communications between attorney and client.
  • Advance City Bar-drafted legislation to amend the Real Property Tax Law to coordinate the treatment of three types of tax transparent entities eligible for real property tax abatements.
  • Oppose legislation concerning jurisdictional consent by foreign business organizations authorized to do business in New York.