New Council Begins Work by Overturning Bloomberg Vetoes

julissa New Council Begins Work by Overturning Bloomberg Vetoes

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras at her first hearing as chair of the council’s Finance Committee. (Photo: Twitter/William Alatriste)

In three unanimous votes, the City Council committees on health, public safety and transportation began their terms by moving to overturn vetoes from former Mayor Bloomberg.

The committees, which met for the first time this afternoon since the city’s new elected officials took office, voted to move forward with Bloomberg-vetoed legislation including a law to create a citywide animal abuse registry, and laws that would require the NYPD to report more information regarding park crime statistics and hit-and-run accidents.

The committee members, all of whom moved to introduce new safety legislation, appeared optimistic in the new administration’s ability to strengthen the city.

“I assume we will have the support of most of the council members,” Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez said of the City Council’s next step toward passing a law requiring quarterly NYPD reports on traffic hit-and-runs. “I hope also that the new mayor will be signing into this bill … My goal is that working together we will make New York City the city with the best traffic safety in the whole nation.”

Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. de Blasio both support “Vision Zero,” a combination of “education, smarter streets and strong enforcement” designed to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. Mr. Rodriguez hopes that the increased police transparency surrounding hit-and-run accidents will allow the city to reevaluate its dangerous traffic areas, combating New York’s recent rash of traffic fatalities.

It was a similar story for the health committee, which also moved forward with a veto override to create a registry for convicted animal abusers.

“These are bills that the council felt very strongly about passing and I was happy to help override the veto on the Health Committee today,” said Councilman Corey Johnson, the new chair.

“We know from story after story that abuser repeat their crimes against helpless animals, and often become violent toward people, too,” added Councilman Vinnie Gentile. With the creation of an animal abuse registry, the council hopes to prevent offenders from owning or living with a pet.

The public safety committee also unanimously voted to overturn a Bloomberg veto on a bill that would require the police to report statistics on crimes occurring in all parks larger than one acre.

All of the measures must be passed by the full council before the vetoes are formally overruled.