senate Bill S1203

Requires hotels with balconies to notify purchasers of rooms of certain safety issues

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Summary

Enacts "Sammy's law"; requires every person, firm, corporation or limited liability company engaged in the business of furnishing public lodging accommodations in hotels, motels or motor courts who are not in compliance with current New York state uniform fire prevention and building code requirements for open guards (balcony railings) to notify purchasers of rooms of certain safety issues.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S1203
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง204-b, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1995, S2995
2009-2010: S2195, S5162
2007-2008: S2443A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1203

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to certain hotels, motels
and motor courts with balconies

PURPOSE:
To protect young children by requiring hotels, motels and motor courts
whose balconies have railings which are spaced more than 4" apart to
notify the families of this condition and potential for young
children to slip through the railings.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 states legislative findings and intent.

Section 2 provides that the act shall be known as "Sammy's Law".

Section 3 amends section 204-b of the general business law to require
that hotels, motels and motor courts, that are not in compliance with
current New York State building code, or the building code of the
City of New York, if applicable, requirements pertaining to the space
between railings, shall post in all covered rental units the
following notice, or a substantially similar notice, in a conspicuous
location at eye level on the door used to access the balcony from the
unit in such a manner that a person exiting the unit through the door
is most likely to see such notice. Such notice shall state:

"WARNING": The potential exists for young children to slip through
spaces between the balusters or ornamental patterns of this balcony."
Such notice shall be printed in no less than forty point type, except
that the word "WARNING: shall be printed in at least seventy-two
point type.
Such notice shall be printed in English and in the second most popular
language spoken by residents in the county in which the public
lodging accommodation is located.

Section 4 provides for an effective date 60 days after it shall have
become law.

JUSTIFICATION:
Current New York State Building Codes require that the spacing between
railings on balconies be no larger than 4", however buildings created
prior to this standard were grandfathered in. As a result many hotels
and motel~ do have balconies which may pose a risk to young children
who can slip through the railings. Tragically, in January 2006 a 3
and 1/2 year old boy from New York named Sammy fell to his death from
an 8th floor balcony. The space between the railings at the hotel his
family was staying at were 4 5/8" and Sammy slipped through. While
Sammy can not be brought back, New York State can protect other young
children by making sure that families of young children are warned by
hotels and motels of railings that are spaced more than 4" apart.
This bill will make sure that the public is made aware and can take
the necessary precautions.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2011-12: S.2995 - Referred to Consumer Protection
2009: S.5162/Passed Assembly
2008: S.2443-A/Passed Senate
2007: S.2443-A/Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
On the 60th day after becoming a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1203

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to certain hotels,
  motels and motor courts with balconies

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative findings and intent.  The legislature finds and
declares  that  public  lodging  accommodations  with  rental units that
include balconies with railings containing balusters  spaced  more  than
four  inches  apart  pose  a threat to the safety of young children. The
legislature further finds  that  parents  of  young  children  occupying
rental  units  with such balconies should be made aware of the potential
danger such balconies may pose to young children.
  Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to require hotel, motel
and motor court operators with balconies that do not  meet  the  current
requirements set forth in the New York state uniform fire prevention and
building  code  or building code of the city of New York, if applicable,
to post a notice in informing lodgers of  such  condition.  This  legis-
lation  shall  not be construed to mean that hotel, motel or motor court
buildings lawfully grandfathered under the laws creating  the  New  York
state uniform fire prevention and building code and building code of the
city of New York are in any way out of compliance with such codes.
  S 2. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Sammy's law".
  S 3. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 204-b
to read as follows:
  S  204-B.  HOTELS  WITH BALCONIES; REQUIREMENTS. 1. FOR THE PURPOSE OF
THIS SECTION:
  (A) "COVERED RENTAL UNIT" SHALL MEAN ANY ROOM OFFERED  TO  THE  PUBLIC
FOR  LODGING ACCOMMODATION THAT INCLUDES A BALCONY, SOLELY ACCESSIBLE BY
THE OCCUPANT OR OCCUPANTS OF SUCH ROOM, THAT:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05215-01-3

S. 1203                             2

  (I) WAS BUILT BEFORE THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE NEW YORK STATE UNIFORM
FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE, OR THE BUILDING  CODE OF THE CITY  OF
NEW YORK, IF APPLICABLE, BECAME EFFECTIVE;
  (II)  CONTAINS BALUSTERS OR ORNAMENTAL PATTERNS SITUATED IN SUCH A WAY
THAT SUCH BALCONY DOES NOT MEET THE CURRENT REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN GUARDS
CONTAINED IN THE NEW YORK STATE UNIFORM  FIRE  PREVENTION  AND  BUILDING
CODE, OR THE BUILDING CODE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, IF APPLICABLE.
  (B)  "NEW  YORK STATE UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE" MEANS
THE UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE PROMULGATED UNDER  SECTION
THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-SEVEN OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW.
  (C)  "BUILDING  CODE  OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK" SHALL MEAN THE BUILDING
CODE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK AS DEFINED IN TITLES TWENTY-SEVEN AND TWEN-
TY-EIGHT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.
  2. EVERY  PERSON,  FIRM,  CORPORATION  OR  LIMITED  LIABILITY  COMPANY
ENGAGED  IN  THE BUSINESS OF FURNISHING PUBLIC LODGING ACCOMMODATIONS IN
HOTELS, MOTELS OR MOTOR COURTS WITH COVERED RENTAL UNITS SHALL  POST  IN
ALL  COVERED RENTAL UNITS THE FOLLOWING NOTICE, OR A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMI-
LAR NOTICE, IN A CONSPICUOUS LOCATION AT EYE LEVEL ON THE DOOR  USED  TO
ACCESS  THE BALCONY FROM THE UNIT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT A PERSON EXITING
THE UNIT THROUGH THE DOOR IS MOST LIKELY  TO  SEE  SUCH  NOTICE.    SUCH
NOTICE SHALL STATE:
  "WARNING:  THE  POTENTIAL  EXISTS  FOR  YOUNG CHILDREN TO SLIP THROUGH
SPACES BETWEEN THE BALUSTERS OR ORNAMENTAL PATTERNS OF THIS BALCONY."
  SUCH NOTICE SHALL BE PRINTED IN NO LESS THAN FORTY POINT TYPE,  EXCEPT
THAT  THE  WORD "WARNING" SHALL BE PRINTED IN AT LEAST SEVENTY-TWO POINT
TYPE. SUCH NOTICE SHALL BE PRINTED IN ENGLISH AND  IN  THE  SECOND  MOST
POPULAR  LANGUAGE  SPOKEN BY RESIDENTS IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE PUBLIC
LODGING ACCOMMODATION IS LOCATED.
  3. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL PROMULGATE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS
AS ARE DEEMED NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION,  AND
SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTIFICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION TO:
  (A)  EVERY  PERSON,  FIRM,  CORPORATION  OR  LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF FURNISHING PUBLIC LODGING  ACCOMMODATIONS  IN
HOTELS, MOTELS OR MOTOR COURTS LOCATED IN THE STATE; AND
  (B)  THE CHIEF PRESIDING OFFICER OF A STATEWIDE ASSOCIATION REPRESENT-
ING THE INTERESTS OF BUILDING CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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