Photo Courtesy of NY City Council/John McCarten
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (c.) sponsored or co-sponsored seven of the 10 pieces of legislation.
By Forum Staff
City Council leadership recently introduced a package of legislation geared toward supporting parents and caregivers. The 10 measures, collectively dubbed the “Mother’s Day Bills,” cover a range of subjects, including pre- and post-natal care, childbirth, parenting and child rearing, as well as promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.
Here’s a look at all 10 proposed laws:
Bill 1: This measure would require employers in the City with more than 15 employees to provide lactation spaces, as well as refrigerators in reasonable proximity to work areas for the purposes of storing breast milk.
Bill 2: Would require employers in the City to establish policies describing lactation accommodations, the process by which an employee can request such accommodation, to be distributed to all new employees. It would also require the City Commission on Human Rights to establish and make available a model lactation accommodation policy.
Bill 3: Would require lactation rooms be made available in Department of Education schools, police precincts, City jail facilities accepting visitors, and City jail facilities housing females.
Bill 4: Would require the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to assess the needs of pregnant people and the availability of free and low-cost doula services to meet such needs. This would be done by assessing demand, the cost of doulas, existing doula programs, current availability of doula services, and the benefits of doula programs. DOHMH will then be required to provide the council with an annual plan for providing access to doulas to more pregnant people who request doula services.
Bill 5: Would require DOHMH to include additional information in the annual maternal mortality report to the council, including data at the individual level, anonymized to comply with privacy concerns, related to the total number of births, as well as disaggregated information on maternal mortality numbers. It would also require the department to include information on enhancing cooperation between city agencies in its annual recommendations.
Bill 6: Would permit campaign funds, but not public money, to be used for certain childcare costs for children under 13 years of age for which the candidate is a primary caregiver.
Bill 7: Would require that any inmate in the custody of the Department of Correction be required to be treated by a doctor of the gender of their choosing, absent any substantial safety risk.
Bill 8: Would require the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to provide to child-subsidized care centers, Family Justice Centers, DOE LYFE programs, domestic violence shelters operated by the Human Resources Administration, and shelters operated by the Department of Homeless Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development, a supply of diapers that is sufficient to meet the needs of the residents and service recipients of those programs.
Bill 9: Would require annual reporting from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to the speaker of the council, or via the Mayor’s Management Report, relating to licensed and unlicensed child care facilities. This reporting would be required to include the number of licensed child care facilities, the number of inspections of these facilities performed, the number of complaints of unlicensed child care facilities, the results of such complaints, and the number of unlicensed facilities that were closed. The department would also be required to publish the address of child care providers that received cease and desist orders or were otherwise closed due to their unlicensed operation.
Bill 10: Would require DCAS to conduct a feasibility study and pilot for offering on-site group childcare options for City employees.