State policymakers are weeks behind schedule with the implementation of the Child Poverty Reduction Council, which is tasked with finding a way to reduce childhood poverty in New York by 50 percent over the next decade.
Based on a chapter amendment signed into law in February, the council members were supposed to be appointed by April 15 the group was supposed to convene for a meeting by May 1, according to the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, which championed this issue for years.
The council is supposed to have 14 members, with two from each of the Democratic legislative leaders and 10 appointed by the governor’s office. According to sources familiar with the appointment process, the legislature’s appointments have been made.
Senate Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, who sponsored the legislation creating the council, said in a recent statement that it was “troubling” that appointments had not been more widely prioritized.
“The Childhood Poverty Reduction task force needs to get off the ground so New York state can get to work on targeted and specific solutions to address child poverty,” Ramos said. “Our office is following up and hopefully the final days of session and the urgency of the moment for working families will jumpstart the necessary movement on these outstanding appointments.”
UPDATE: New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel Tietz, who will serve as a co-chair of the council, said in a statement that appointments, including from the governor’s office, are being finalized and “should be announced in the coming weeks.”
“The council will then quickly begin the critical work of empowering some of our most marginalized and vulnerable New Yorkers and cutting child poverty in half over the next decade,” Tietz said.