New Council Sweeps Out Bloomberg Vetoes

Repasses bills on NYPD reporting, sick leave, animal abuse registry
By Nicholas Zifcak, Epoch Times
February 4, 2014 Updated: February 5, 2014

NEW YORK—The City Council overrode six vetoes left over from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday, passing for a second time bills that will require additional police reporting and require manufacturers to give employees unpaid sick leave.

“We’re closing that chapter, it was overdue business left over from last session, and we’re moving ahead,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, dodging a question about how it made her feel to overturn Bloomberg’s vetoes.

All of the bills were reviewed by relevant committees, which decided to move the bills forward. Mark-Viverito said she discussed the legislation with the council members and there was overwhelming support.

NYPD Reporting Requirements

The two NYPD reporting bills originally passed unanimously Dec. 19. They require the NYPD to report hit and run statistics quarterly, rather than every two years, and report crime complaint data for city parks and publish it online.

When Bloomberg vetoed the bills on Dec. 27, he encouraged the council to request data from the NYPD when necessary on a case-by-case basis, advising that requiring permanent reporting would be burdensome for the department. He further questioned the value of conclusions drawn from reports.

The council is asking the NYPD to use a “set of case-by-case determinations based on the facts of individual investigation, to reach what by necessity would be entirely speculative conclusions,” then-Mayor Bloomberg wrote in a veto message to the city clerk.

In addition, “the description of investigations required by the bill would systematically expose the NYPD’s investigative techniques and tradecraft in each individual case.”

Bloomberg further questioned the value of reporting crime data from parks, saying it is labor intensive for the police, but “most of the data is actually composed of zeroes, since there is consistently no major felony crime occurring in many of the thirty parks subject to reporting each quarter.”

Sick Leave

The council also repassed legislation originally passed Dec. 19 that requires manufacturers who are exempt from providing paid sick leave to provide their employees with unpaid sick leave.

Bloomberg vetoed the bill Dec. 27 writing to City Council that the requirement to give sick leave would impose new costs on employers and make it cost more to do business in New York.

Other Vetoed Bills Re-passed

Another bill passed again on Tuesday will create a registry of animal abusers and require city residents convicted of animal abuse to register or face jail time. It also makes it illegal for those convicted of animal abuse to have any contact with an animal.

The fifth bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to create a registration program for those trained in remedying environmental hazards.

The sixth bill waives Fire Department inspection fees for nonprofits.