City Council on Sunday introduced 10 bills designed to support New York parents, caregivers, kinship guardians and foster parents.
Dubbed the “Mother’s Day bills,” the legislation introduced by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo covers everything from pre- and post-natal care, childbirth, parenting and child-rearing to a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development from infancy to adulthood.
“They say that it takes a village to raise a child, but sadly we all too often fall short when it comes to supporting parents and caregivers,” Johnson said in a statement.
Added Cumbo, “Every child in this city deserves to live the best life possible, and we as a City Council are working to do everything we can to make that a reality. I am proud of my colleagues — both male and female — who helped make these bills a reality.”
Here is the breakdown of the 10 “Mother’s Day” bills introduced by City Council:
• 1. Would amend city administrative code to require employers with more than 15 employees to provide lactation spaces and refrigerators to store breast milk.
• 2. Would require employers to create policies outlining lactation accommodations as well require the city’s Commission on Human Rights to create and distribute a model lactation accommodation policy.
• 3. Would require lactation rooms in certain city spaces like the Department of Education, police precincts and jail facilities that accept visitors and house females.
• 4. Would require the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to assess the needs of pregnant people and the availability for free and low-cost doula services and provide the council with an annual access plan for those who request such service.
• 5. Would require DOHMH to expand its reporting on maternal mortality and enhance the cooperation between city agencies in annual recommendations.
• 6. Would allow campaign funds, but not public money, to be used for childcare and babysitting costs for children under 13 when the candidate is the primary caregiver.
• 7. Would require that any Department of Correction inmate be allowed to choose the gender of their doctor.
• 8. Would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to provide diapers to meet the needs of residents and recipients of child subsidized care centers, Family Justice Centers, city-run shelters and more.
• 9. Would require annual DOHMH reporting on licensed and unlicensed child-care facilities, including the number of licensed facilities, the number of inspections and complaints at those facilities as well as the results of the complaints and how many unlicensed facilities were closed.
• 10. Would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to conduct a feasibility study and pilot to offer on-site group childcare options for city employees.