Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: April 1, 1997

Release #163-97

Contact:Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958, Dwight Williams (212) 788-2972


Remarks by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at Public Hearing on Local Laws

There are five bills before me for consideration this afternoon.

As a preface to each of these bills, I would like to review the history of this administration's efforts in reforming the Administrative Code.

As many of you know, in 1995 the State Legislature enacted a law, as part of the fiscal year 1996 budget, which divested the New York City criminal court of jurisdiction over all non-misdemeanor offenses charged under the Administrative Code. As a result of the state law, many serious public safety and health violations of the Administrative Code would no longer have been heard in criminal court and in some instances would not have been presentable before any other tribunal.

In response to the potentially devastating effects of the new law, my administration worked closely with the City Council to draft a temporary remedial measure. We were successful in this effort and were able preserve the City's ability to pursue criminal enforcement and adjudication of violations that are essential to the public safety, health, and welfare of our neighborhoods.

After this and other legislative initiatives, all parties involved with the criminal justice system, felt that this was an appropriate time to review the Administrative Code, with the goal of reducing the greatly overburdened docket of the criminal court by removing outdated or duplicative statutes.

The administration, and in particular my Criminal Justice Coordinator Katie Lapp, has acknowledged the need for such reform, and the five bills before me represent an important first step. I would also like to thank Speaker Peter Vallone and Council Member Mary Pinkett, Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee. I look forward to future hearings like this one as we continue this process.

The next bill is Introductory Number 823, introduced by the Speaker and Council Members Fusco and Stabile. The bill will amend the Administrative Code of the City of New York in relation to the repeal of 17-335(f) with regard to a misdemeanor violation in relation to inhalation therapy service or equipment.

This legislation repeals the misdemeanor penalty provision in the Administrative Code relating to inhalation therapy, which is defined as the therapeutic use of oxygen, helium, carbon dioxide or other gases for a human being. The State Education Law contains a comprehensive set of regulations governing respiratory therapy, which encompasses inhalation therapy. Again, the city's oversight is not needed and should not be part of the Administrative Code.

I will now turn to the bill's sponsor and any other elected official who wishes to speak.

I will now turn to the general audience. Is there anyone wishing to speak in favor of this legislation? Is there anyone wishing to speak in opposition?

There being none, and for the reasons previously stated, I will now sign the bill.

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