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Recently Passed Bills

CHNY has participated in lobbying for the successful passage of the following bills that have been signed into law.

A6769 (Hyndman) / S282 (Myrie)

Relates to the retroactive determination of youthful offender status

New York’s Youthful Offender (“YO”) law provides the opportunity for youth under the age of 19 to have a criminal conviction set aside and replaced with a confidential, non-criminal adjudication. It also allows for reduced prison sentences.  Unfortunately, many young people who are already eligible for youthful offender status under current law are not granted it. This denial of YO status leaves these young adults with criminal records that can lead to significant barriers, including limited access to employment, as they try to move away from the criminal justice system into successful adult lives.  Under A6769/S282, a person who was initially eligible for YO Status (under 19 at the time) but was denied it, and who has not been convicted of a crime for at least five years since their sentence is now eligible to apply to the sentencing court for a new determination of potential retroactive YO status.  This will enable more New York young adults to be free of the burden of a criminal record that can make it difficult to leave poverty and associated criminal activity behind. Read our Memorandum of Support – submitted to the NYS Assembly – by clicking here.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in November of 2021.


A00459 (Gottfried) / S00674 (Ramos)

Vacating Convictions for offenses related to human trafficking

Many of the trafficking survivors we serve at CHNY have criminal records due to crimes they were forced to commit while they were victims of human trafficking. These previous convictions prevent survivors from fully moving forward with their psychosocial recovery and healing. In CHNY’s legal and vocational and educational training departments, we see how a criminal record imposes life-long, detrimental effects on trafficking survivors—limiting access to employment and educational opportunities, financial resources, housing, and unfairly stigmatizing victims for acts they were compelled to commit. A criminal record can also result in severe immigration consequences, including the threat of deportation and the inability to adjust immigration status or become a citizen.

New York State law will now enable victims of trafficking to clear criminal convictions resulting from exploitation beyond crimes just related to prostitution. Read our Memorandum of Support – submitted to the NYS Assembly and Senate – by clicking here.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in November of 2021.


New York City LS #17172 –Granting RHY Same Access to CityFHEPS Vouchers as Adults in DHS System 

CityFHEPS is a rental assistance voucher program for homeless households and those at risk of homelessness. These vouchers give individuals and families access to city rental assistance so that they can live in their own apartments, instead of shelters. Until this bill passed, only one group was eligible for a CityFHEPS voucher – those who have been formally displaced from their residence within the past 12 months and have previously resided in a NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter. Unfortunately, time spent in a RHY shelter, which are overseen by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), did not count. Additionally, unsheltered New Yorkers who receive case management services from a DHS contracted provider are eligible for CityFHEPS, but those who received outreach services from a DYCD, or non-city contracted provider were not.

In June 2021, the City implemented a CityFHEPS pilot program which is enabling 50 youth who are participating in DYCD programs to receive CityFHEPS vouchers. Although we are grateful for this pilot program, 50 vouchers is not adequate to support the number of youth who could benefit from this voucher. LS #17172 will now ensure that young people who have spent time in youth shelters have equal access to CityFHEPS vouchers as people who have spent time in the NYC adult shelter system. Read our testimony to the New York City Council by clicking here.

This law was adopted into the New York City charter in December of 2021.


A4982 (Hevesi) / S4051 (Bailey)

Ending the Arrest and Prosecution of Children Under 12 as Juvenile Delinquents

New York State sets its minimum age for arrest and prosecution of children as juvenile delinquents at age 7, the second lowest set by statute in the U.S. Children as young as 10 can be detained in secure facilities. Until this most recent legislative reform, children under the age of 12 could be subject to police interrogation, handcuffs and footcuffs, pre-trial detention with older youth, probation, and mandatory confinement in an institution. CHNY agreed with The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine who recommended raising the minimum age of delinquency responsibility to at least 12 years old. We supported A4982/S4051 which will end the arrest and prosecution of children under 12 as delinquents and end the use of secure detention for children under 13. Read our Memorandum of Support – Submitted to the NYS Assembly and Senate in March of 2021 – by clicking here.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in December of 2021.


A 7681 (Fernandez)/S7179 (Persaud) 

Relates to the reentry of certain foster children after they have left foster care

A significant number of the young people served by CHNY indicate past placement in foster care. Fortunately, in New York State, young adults are able to remain in foster care through the age of 21. Yet, many youth leave care of their own accord at the age of 18, only to later find that they were not yet ready to live on their own and risk facing homelessness. Under New York Family law, youth who left care after they turned 18, who were originally placed in in foster care under Article 10 Abuse and Neglect proceedings, can petition to return to foster care at any time before their 21st birthday. Due to an unfortunate loophole in the law, youth who were placed in foster care through mechanisms other than Article 10 proceedings did not have the same right to petition to return to care.

Even more shocking was that a return to care is only possible for youth who left care after their 18th birthday. This meant that if a child in care was returned to their parent before the age of 18 and the relationship with the parent broke down after the age of 18 (or even on the day of the child’s 18th birthday) that child had no right to return to foster care.

For these reasons, CHNY wholeheartedly supported A7681/S7179 which now allows youth who have been in foster care through the age of 16, regardless of why they needed that protection in the first place, to re-enter foster care before their 21st birthday if they are at risk of homelessness. Passing such legislation will save vulnerable young adults across New York State the experience of homelessness. Read our Memorandum of Support – submitted to the NYS Assembly – by clicking here.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in December of 2021.


A6938A / S5924

Relates to Prohibited Practices Relating to Student Educational Debt

For many young people experiencing homelessness, higher education is the most likely route out of poverty. However, it is an undisputed fact that the cost of a college education is exorbitant, even for youth who are not experiencing homelessness. It is therefore not surprising that many young people at CHNY have insurmountable levels of school debt.

When students leave school and owe a past debt to their previous college, colleges withhold official transcripts as a tool for debt collection. The consequences of losing access to transcripts are severe; transcripts are often needed to transfer to another college, receive credit for completed courses, complete degrees, obtain certain professional licenses, and secure a job. For these reasons, CHNY supported this bill, which bans the practice of transcript withholding.

This bill was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in May of 2022.