This bill would have a negative impact on the Tourism industry by imposing another state mandated expense on the accommodations sector. For that reason, The Business Council opposes this legislation.
This bill was the first in a series of bills to be introduced in reaction to several well publicized assaults of two NYC hotel workers by hotel guests.
This legislation would mandate hotels and motels to provide a personal device to room attendants and room service workers with the “sole and exclusive function of notifying hotel management of an emergency at the push of a single button”. Though the sponsor’s memo states there will be no fiscal implications to local or state government, it does not state or even take into consideration the cost of the device, including training and monitoring, or the potential liability to business. In addition, this bill would require all hotels and motels, as defined by the Public Health Law, to provide such a device and provides no exception for small, family owned establishments where such an expense would be especially burdensome.
This is a time when state’s tourism sector is feeling the effects of a slumping economy and decreased occupancy rates. Instead of imposing a costly mandate that is a reaction based on two incidents in New York City, the State should look at ways to discourage and prevent such incidents from happening such as making an assault of a hotel and motel employee in a guest room a more significant criminal offense.
New York State does not need to add new mandated costs on any business right now, and certainly not a recovering industry that contributes hundreds of millions in state and local tax revenues and tens of thousands of jobs annually.
For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and strongly urges that it not be enacted by the New York State Legislature.