GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT:Voting Records - Health

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VOTING RECORDS: HEALTH
HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW IN NEW YORK CITY?

When a bill (called an "Intro" in the City Council) is introduced, it is sent to one of 27 council committees for consideration. The chair of the committee decides whether or not to hold a hearing on the measure; at a hearing, the council listens to debate and testimony. The chair then can call for a vote on the measure. A majority of the committee members must vote in favor of an Intro for it to pass. If the chair chooses not hold a hearing or to not call a vote, the bill can sit indefinitely with no action taken.

Once a bill passes out of committee, it is sent to the full council. If passed by a majority (at least 26 of the 51 council members), the bill is sent to the mayor, who can also hold a public hearing. The mayor then must choose to sign or veto the bill. If the mayor signs the bill, it becomes a local law. If the mayor vetoes the bill, he or she must return it to the council at the next scheduled council meeting. The City Council has 30 days to override the mayoral veto by a two-thirds majority. In this event, the bill becomes a local law.

If the mayor does not sign or veto a bill within 30 days after receiving it from the council, it is considered approved.

Read more about health on Gotham Gazette.

Click here for complete reports from the council committee in this topic

LAWS PASSED IN 2003
LAWS PASSED IN 2002
BILLS PENDING


LAWS PASSED IN 2003

LAWS PASSED IN 2002

SMOKE FREE ACT OF 2002(Intro 256-A) This legislation amends the 1995 Smoke-Free Air Act to make public places including bars, nightclubs and restaurants and all places of employment in New York City smoke-free. Officials agreed to some exemptions: cigar bars, owner-operated bars, fraternal organizations, and portions of outdoor cafes will still allow smoking. The law would also allow for smoking in separate, enclosed rooms that employees do not enter.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council members Quinn, Oddo, Brewer, DeBlasio, Felder, Foster, Gerson, Koppell, Martinez, Perkins, Sears, Serrano, Stewart, Vann, Comrie, Lopez, Reyna, Vallone, Jr., Baez, Diaz, Provenzano, Recchia, Jr., Yassky, Davis, Gennaro and Liu.

COUNCIL VOTE:
42 for, 7 against, 2 abstain
Approved by council December 18, 2002
Signed by mayor December 30, 2002

YES: Tony Avella, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Tracy Boyland, Gale Brewer, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Ruben Diaz, Erik Dilan, Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, Helen Foster, James Gennaro, Alan Gerson, Eric Gioia, Sarah Gonzalez, Robert Jackson, Allan Jennings, Melinda Katz, G. Oliver Koppell, Andrew LanzaJohn Liu, Miguel Martinez, Gifford Miller, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, James Oddo, Bill Perkins, Madeline Provenzano, Christine Quinn, Domenic Recchia, Joel Rivera, Larry Seabrook, Helen Sears, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart, Peter Vallone, Jr., Albert Vann, David Weprin, David Yassky.

NO: Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Dennis Gallagher, Martin Golden, Margarita Lopez, Michael McMahon, Hiram Monserrate, Philip Reed.

ABSTAIN: Yvette Clarke, James Sanders.

ACCESS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CARE INFORMATION (Intro 13)
This law requires that information about public health programs such as Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus exist be published in at least seven different languages -- English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Yiddish, Korean, and Haitian-Creole.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council Members Eva Moskowitz, the Speaker (Council Member Gifford Miller), Christine Quinn, Melinda Katz, John Liu, Philip Reed, Joel Rivera, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Helen Sears, Kendall Stewart, Albert Vann, Eric Gioia, Diana Reyna, David Weprin and James Oddo; also Council Member Leroy Comrie

COUNCIL VOTE: 47 for, 2 against, 0 abstaining
Approved by council March 25, 2002
Signed by mayor April 2, 2002

YES: Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Tony Avella, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Tracy Boyland, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Ruben Diaz, Erik Dilan, Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, Helen Foster, James Gennaro, Alan Gerson, Eric Gioia, Robert Jackson, Allan Jennings, Melinda Katz, G. Oliver Koppell, Andrew Lanza, John Liu, Margarita Lopez, Miguel Martinez, Gifford Miller, Hiram Monserrate, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, James Oddo, Bill Perkins, Christine Quinn, Domenic Recchia, Philip Reed, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera, Angel Rodriguez, James Sanders, Larry Seabrook, Helen Sears, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart, Peter Vallone, Jr., Albert Vann, David Weprin, David Yassky.

NO: Dennis Gallagher, Martin Golden

ABSENT: Michael McMahon, Madeline Provenzano


REDUCE ANIMAL SHELTER OPERATIONS (Int. 234)
Animal shelters, like other city agencies, have to cope with major budget cuts. This legislation reduces the time that city animal shelters can accept animals from 24 to 12 hours per day. All plans for new shelters have also been put on hold.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Councilmember Christine Quinn (at the request of the mayor).

COUNCIL VOTE: 50 for, 0 against
Passed by council June 21, 2002
Signed by mayor July 1, 2002

ABSENT: Eva Moskowitz


NEW DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE (Intro 227A)
This bill combines the city agencies -- the Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services -- and creates a new name for the new agencies: the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Proponents said the new name better reflects the mission of the city's heath programs.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council members Bill Perkins, Simcha Felder and Maria Baez (by request of the mayor); also Kendall Stewart.

COUNCIL VOTE: 48 for, 0 against
Passed by council July 10, 2002
Signed by the mayor July 29, 2002

ABSENT: Helen Foster, Martin Golden, Christine Quinn


BILLS PENDING

DISCOUNT ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (Intro 75)
This legislation would require that city hospitals and health facilities only purchase prescription drugs from companies that agree to provide at least a 25 percent discount on prescription drugs to low-income seniors and Medicare recipients. (Read more about this issue in Gotham Gazette).

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council Members Diaz, Boyland, DeBlasio, Foster, Jackson, Koppell, Monserrate, Rivera, Rodriguez, Serrano, Stewart and Golden; also Council Member Gerson

Click here for the status of this bill


DEFIBRILLATORS IN PUBLIC SPACES (Intro 86, 131)
Defibrillators are handheld devices that deliver an electronic shock to patients experiencing cardiac arrest. Intro 86 would require the city to have defibrillators in major transit stations, public beaches, shopping centers, and sporting facilities. Intro 131 would require all police and fire department vehicles to carry them. (Read more about this issue in Gotham Gazette).

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council members James Oddo, Philip Reed, Martin Golden, Andrew Lanza, Dennis Gallagher, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Eric Gioia, Oliver Koppell, Michael McMahon, Miguel Martinez, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, Christine Quinn, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera, James Sanders, Jose Serrano, Peter Vallone, Alan Gerson, Gale Brewer and the Public Advocate (Ms. Gotbaum); also council member Madeline Provenzano

Click here for the status of this bill


BUFFER ZONE FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE FACILITIES (INTRO 169)
This bill prevents demonstrations within fifteen feet of the entrance or exit of a reproductive health care facility.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Introduced by Council Members Margarita Lopez, Christine Quinn, Gale Brewer, Leroy Comrie, Bill DeBlasio, Helen Foster, Alan Gerson, Bill Perkins, Philip Reed, James Sanders, Jose Serrano and David Yassky; also council members Yvette Clarke, Robert Jackson, Oliver Koppell and Angel Rodriguez.

Click here for the status of this bill


SCREENING HOME CARE SERVICES PERSONNEL (INTRO 214)
This legislation adds people who work in home health care service to the health care personnel required to have background checks. Screenings would involve fingerprinting, a review of criminal convictions or domestic abuse, and information from the applicants past employers.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: By council members Miguel Martinez, Maria Baez, Ruben Diaz, Alan Gerson, Robert Jackson, Melinda Katz, Oliver Koppell, Hiram Monserrate, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera and Kendall Stewart.

Click here for the status of this bill


WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACKS AND PUBLIC HEALTH (INTRO 165)
This bill would require a report on the health effects of the World Trade Center attacks on people who work or live below 14th Street to be submitted to the City Council and mayor twice a year.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: By council members Alan Gerson, Tony Avella, Leroy Comrie, Oliver Koppell, Miguel Martinez, Michael Nelson, Jose Serrano, Albert Vann and David Weprin; also council members Yvette Clarke, Christine Quinn and Robert Jackson

Click here for the status of this bill