Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation requiring employers in New York State to expand accommodations for breastfeeding at work. On Friday, December 9, 2022, Gov. Hochul signed the legislation (S.4844-B/A.1236-A) into law. It requires all employers in New York to offer breastfeeding employees private and convenient pumping spaces that have seating, running water, electricity, and a work area. Companies will also need to create and implement a written policy regarding employee rights for breastfeeding at work. Gov. Hochul said,
Every nursing mother deserves access to a safe, hygienic, and convenient space to pump in the workplace. By requiring employers to provide quality accommodations, this legislation will help employees feel comfortable and respected when breastfeeding.
You can read more about the new law here.
New York State Offers These 6 Programs For Low-Income Residents
Here are some of the programs that New York State offers to people who aren't able to work or make less than a livable wage.
1. Heating Assistance
New Yorkers who need help paying their heating bills this winter can get money from the state now. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state's heating assistance program is currently accepting applications. The Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, opened for the 2022-2023 winter season on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. Low- and middle-income residents and seniors can apply to receive up to $976 in aid. The assistance payments are distributed by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. New Yorkers who need help can receive one regular benefit per season. If a household is at risk of losing its heat due to a utility shut-off, it could also be eligible for an emergency benefit. Emergency benefits applications will be accepted starting January 3, 2023. New York residents outside of the City can apply here.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides funds for New Yorkers to buy healthy food. SNAP can provide up to $939 for a family of four to buy bread, dairy products, meats, and produce. In order to apply, recipients must be low-income. A family of four must have an annual gross income of $36,084 or less to qualify. You can check eligibility requirements here.
3. Child Care Cost Assistance
New York State has expanded childcare funding for working and low-income families. The state is distributing $2 billion to help increase the number of families that receive financial support for childcare costs. In August 2022 the eligibility of a family increased from 200 percent to 300 percent, to $83,250 for a family of four. You can get more info about childcare funding from your local Office of Children and Family Services.
4. Discounted Internet Services
Low-income New Yorkers can get discounted internet services through the Affordable Connectivity Program. The program offers residents discounts on internet and broadband services.
- Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
- A low cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP*
You can see if you're eligible here.
5. Temporary Assistance
Temporary assistance is also known as public assistance. It can help adults who are not employed, unable to work, or who just don't make enough money. There are several types of temporary assistance that are available, including Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, and Emergency Assistance. You can find more information about each here.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program offers assistance to pregnant women, breastfeeding women, postpartum women, and caregivers of infants and children up to age five. Get info on WIC here.