New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Governmental Operations

Introduction 1130-2016: Full Public Matching

Match Every New York City Resident’s Small Dollars

New York City’s campaign finance system matches the first $175 of contributions from residents by 6 to 1 and gives participating candidates a partial public matching grant of up to 55% of the spending limit in competitive races. This leaves more than 1/3 of the funds outstanding between the public matching grant and the spending limit, which must be reached to be competitive. The “big dollar gap” for Mayor is $2.5 million.

Introduction 1130-A by Council Members Kallos, Lander, and Cabrera, increases the public matching grant from an arbitrary partial match of 55% to a full match. Every small dollar raised from city residents would be matched 6 to 1. Candidates could still raise contributions of $4,950 for Mayor, but would be incentivized to seek small donations from many more residents by matching every small dollar.

  • Reduce Big Money by filling the “big dollar gap” with small dollars matched with a full public matching grant.
  • Increase the Number of Small Donors by a minimum of 50% for candidates seeking a full public matching grant.

Introduction 1129-2016: Electoral Ballot Access Reform

This bill would amend the New York city charter to provide for an alternative method for candidates for the offices of mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president and member of the city council to get onto the ballot by allowing such candidates to get onto the ballot by raising the threshold amount of funding to qualify for participation in the campaign finance board’s small dollar matching program.

Introduction 1091-2016: Consolidating Environmental Control Board (ECB) into the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)

This bill would amend the charter and administrative code to include reference to an authorized tribunal of the office of administrative trials and hearings when making reference to the tribunal functions of the environmental control board, to reflect the consolidated tribunal structure of the office of administrative trials and hearings.

Introduction 1069-2016: Full Time Legislature

This bill would require the City Council to set forth rules prohibiting Council Members from earning certain outside income and would make the position of Council Member full-time. The provisions of this bill and any rules promulgated pursuant to this bill would not apply to any Council Member who has engaged in another occupation, profession or employment during the current Council session, who intends to continue to engage in such occupation, profession or employment for the remainder of such session, and who submits a letter to the Speaker of the Council by March 1, 2016 describing such engagement and intention.

Introduction 812-2015: Require ECB Include Certain Information in Notices of Violation

This bill would require city agencies that issue notices of violation that are returnable to the Environmental Control Board for adjudication to, where the alleged violation occurred in or on a building or lot, include the borough, block and lot number and building identification number, as applicable, of the building or lot. Finally, the bill provides that a notice of violation is still enforceable even if it does not include the required identifying information.

Introduction 810-2015: Unpaid Civil Penalties Imposed by ECB Can Affect Licensing

This bill would require city agencies that issue notices of violation returnable to the Environmental Control Board (ECB) and that issue licenses, permits or registrations to promulgate rules to implement their authority to deny, suspend, terminate or revoke licenses, permits and registrations based on unpaid civil penalties imposed by ECB. The bill would require such rules to include certain factors for agencies to consider when making the determination to deny, suspend, terminate or revoke, including (1) whether the applicant, licensee, permittee or registrant has other debt owed to the city; (2) the amount of unpaid civil penalties owed; (3) whether the underlying violation is one of a series of violations and the nature of the underlying violation; and (4) whether the unpaid civil penalties were imposed due to a finding of default decision that was then vacated, or whether the applicant, licensee, permittee or registration has made a request to vacate a default and obtain a new hearing. The bill would clarify that such agencies would not be limited to the considerations required by the bill and may consider any additional factors in making a determination. The bill would exempt agencies that have adopted a rule or policy prior to the effective date of the bill that substantially meets the requirements of the bill. The bill would also require agencies to provide an annual report to the Council including the number of applications received; the number denied pursuant to such rules; the number of licenses, permits or registrations suspended, terminated or revoked; and list of the types of licenses, permits or registrations issued by such agency and the time period for which such licenses, permits or registrations are issued.

Introduction 659-2015: Online Voter Information Portal

This bill would require the New York City Board of Elections to provide a secure website and mobile application that would allow users to (1) track the status of their absentee application and ballot; (2) view their registration status; (3) view the party for which they are a registered member; (4) view the federal, state, and local election districts in which they reside; (5) know whether they are required to bring any form of identification to vote; (6) view which elections held over the previous four calendar years for which they were registered to vote and whether they voted; (7) view the address at which they were previously registered to vote; (8) provide the option to receive alerts, including when there is a change in their registration status; (9) providing access to existing resources including (a) registering to vote, (b) updating registration information, (c) viewing sample ballots, (d) polling place locations, (e) voting hours, (f) signing up as a poll workers, and (g) viewing the voter guide.