PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER APRIL 16TH
Next Week’s Calendar
The Legislature is in session Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week.
12 Senate Committee Meetings Announced,
April public hearings calendar.
Updates from the Governor
New Guidance on Graduations
Vaccination Efforts for Farmers
Horse Racing Capacity Expanded
Comptroller: Revenue Higher than Projections
DFS: New Office on Inclusion
Legislature Returns to Work Monday
With the legislature on break this week, activity in general around the State’s Capitol has been somewhat muted.
Legislators return on Monday, April 19 to begin working toward the end of session (June 10 – see our “Legislative News” section for a link to the full calendar). The upcoming eight weeks will be focused on moving bills that have statewide policy implications and bills that represent local initiatives.
The Governor has yet to sign all of the budget bills (delivered to the Governor on April 7), except for the Education, Labor, Housing and Family Assistance (ELFA, Chapter 56, S2506C/A3006C, L 2021) and the Debt Service Bill (delivered on March 31- Chapter 52, S2502B/A3002B, L. 2021). The Department of Health also posted the Medicaid Scorecard this week, which details the programmatic spending changes that were included in the final agreement.
This week there were more expansions in the effort to reopen the state as the effort to get vaccines in arms continues (see our “From the Governor” section for details), the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was placed on “pause” nationally due to concerns related to a small cohort of serious blood clotting issues, the Rockefeller Institute put out a policy brief on ghost guns and at the federal level, Medicare providers got some good news as a bill to delay the federal Medicare sequester cut was passed by Congress and awaits the President’s signature.
COVID-19 – After reports that six individuals experienced severe blood clots, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement recommending a “pause” in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the incidences can be more thoroughly investigated. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held an emergency meeting on Wednesday and confirmed that the pause should be extended until more data is available and evaluated related to the abnormal blood clot issues (media here). In their initial statement the FDA and CDC asked health care providers to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
- The State has stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and is substituting with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the
Federal Medicare Sequester Delay – The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday, April 13, that included a delay in the 2 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare payments (sequestration). The cuts had been implemented in 2012 to help address the debt ceiling crisis and were suspended in May 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed in March 2020. The delay essentially continues a boost in Medicare reimbursement 2 percent through the end of 2021. A related American Hospital Association (AHA) bulletin can be found here.
Ghost Guns – The Rockefeller Institute has issued a policy brief regarding ghost guns, the current landscape regarding regulation and the challenges they pose to law enforcement.
2021 Legislative Session Days
There are 3 scheduled session days next week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. You can find the full 2021 Legislative Session calendar here.
There are 12 committee meeting announced for the Senate and none for the Assembly yet. If there are more announced, the meetings will be found here: live stream available on the Senate website, with the Assembly found here once announced.
The legislature did not pass any bills this week, as the Legislature was on break post budget.
- May 7th, New Date TBD – Senate Standing Committees on Transportation and Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions. Subject: East Side Access/East Side Tunnel Project Oversight (MTA/Amtrak).
- April 22 – Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations and Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Businesses. Subject: Primary and Secondary Ticket Marketplaces.
The full legislative public hearing calendar can be accessed here.
From the Governor
Updated Guidance for Graduation and Commencement Ceremonies
Effective May 1, indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies will be allowed with limited attendee capacity, depending on the event size and the location (e.g., stadium, arena, arts and entertainment venue). Detailed guidance for graduation events is available here.
Vaccinating Farm and Food Production Workers
The Governor announced that as part of the new vaccination effort, New York State will provide 500 doses to Sun River Health, a local health care network, to administer to Angry Orchard employees, as well as farm and food production workers from other facilities in the Orange County area. The state is also working to coordinate with local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers to bring pop-up vaccination sites to workers, including migrant workers, at their places of employment.
Spectators at Horse and Auto Races Beginning April 22, Restaurants open later.
Governor Cuomo announced that spectators will be allowed at horse and auto races at 20 percent capacity, beginning Thursday, April 22. Spectators will be subject to the State’s strict guidance, which is currently in effect for other professional sports competitions with fans. The curfew for food and beverage establishments will be moved from 11 p.m. to midnight beginning Monday, April 19.
There were no COVID related
Executive Orders issued this week
From the NYS Attorney General
Indian Point Decommissioning and Remediation
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office has reached a provisional agreement with Holtec International and its subsidiaries (Holtec) regarding the decommissioning and cleanup of the Indian Point nuclear power facility in the lower Hudson Valley. The joint proposal, subject to approval by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), was negotiated by the state of New York, environmental organizations, Entergy — the current owner of Indian Point, and Holtec. Upon PSC approval, the agreement would transfer ownership of the nuclear power facility to Holtec, which would be responsible for the decommissioning and remediation of the facility and site.
New York Attorney General Letitia James submitted an amicus brief filed in support of the plaintiffs in Riseboro v. SunAmerica, the Attorney General argues in defense of a non-profit affordable housing developer that is suing a private investor for ownership of a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) backed-property, located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
From the NYS Comptroller
2020-21 Tax Revenues $3 Billion Over Projections
According to the March State Cash Report released by the New York State Comptroller, tax collections for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 totaled $82.4 billion — $3 billion higher than forecast by the state Division of the Budget (DOB) in the Amended Executive Budget Financial Plan in February (latest projections), and $6.8 billion higher than forecast in May 2020 (initial projections. Total tax collections for SFY 2020-21 were $513.3 million lower than the previous year.
From the Department of Financial Services
New DFS Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment
Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell announced DFS’ new Statewide Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment. The Superintendent also announced Honorable Tremaine Wright, previous representative for the 56th District of the New York State Assembly, has been appointed as the first Director of the Office of Financial Inclusion and Empowerment.