PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER APRIL 30TH
Next Week’s Calendar
The Legislature is in session Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week.
14 Senate Committee Meetings Announced,
May public hearings.
Updates from the Governor
Cuomo Ends Food Requirement in Bars
New Executive Orders
AG: Probe into Toxic Substances
Comptroller: Budget Analysis
April Showers Usher in COVID Relief, 6 More Weeks of Session
There are six weeks remaining on the session calendar, and by any measure, that is plenty of time in Albany for the legislature to tackle additional priorities not yet addressed in the enacted budget or in the last two weeks.
For the most part, changes in COVID pandemic related restrictions and legislative action aimed at curbing some of the Governor’s Executive Order actions led news cycles this week. Legislative activity included introduction of a bill poised to be passed by both houses next week that will extend the moratorium on evictions; and bills related to staffing committees in hospitals (S1168a/A108b) and required levels in nursing homes (S6346/A7119) advanced to third reading and are also poised for a floor vote. Additional media reports surfaced (here, here, and here) related to allegations against the Governor, and former State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman saw his license to practice law suspended for one year.
- New Mask Guidance – New York will adopt the new CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Governor’s announcement here.
- Re-opening NY – Curfews are slated to be lifted in May for indoor and outdoor areas next month and certain catered events will be allowed. See our “From the Governor” section for details. The NY State Fair is expected to be held this year, and the Governor announced the resumption of the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at state-run vaccination sites.
- Declining cases/hospitalizations – Daily tracking of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have shown a steady decline. As of a Thursday update from the Governor’s office, the statewide seven-day average positivity rate dropped to 1.98 percent, and hospitalizations dropped under 3,000. Tracking data can be found here.
- High level volunteer steps down – Larry Schwartz relinquished his role as a volunteer in the Governor’s pandemic efforts. Notably, he had been heading up the State’s vaccine efforts.
Executive Orders repealed – On Wednesday, the legislature adopted three concurrent resolutions to terminate certain provisions of COVID-19 pandemic related executive orders that had been issued by the Governor (B673, B674, and B675). The terminated provisions including those that had suspended certain disclosure requirements for government employees, mandated a food purchase with alcoholic beverages, and enacted civil penalties for certain violations of vaccine distribution guidelines.
Extending Eviction Moratorium – The legislature is poised to pass legislation to extend the moratorium on the eviction of residential and certain commercial tenants found in the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020” and the “COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act of 2021” from May 1, 2021 to
August 31, 2021 (S6362a/A7175a). Indications are that the bill will likely be on the floor of the Senate and Assembly for a vote on Monday, May 3rd. Media here and here. The enacted budget included $2.4 billion in rent relief along with certain other eviction protections.
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 14 committee meeting announced for the Senate and none for the Assembly announced yet. Meetings can be found here: live stream available on the Senate website, with the Assembly found here once announced.
The Legislature passed 59 bills this week while in session and adopted three resolutions that repealed the Governor’s power.
Passed last week, the “NY HERO Act” S1034b/A2681b was delivered to the Governor on Friday, April 23. The Governor has 10 days to sign or veto the bill, which requires employers to adopt plans for preventing the spread of airborne disease in the workplace and will have wide ranging impacts on employers.
- May 6th, Senate Standing Committee on Codes. Subject: To explore policies surrounding automatic expungement of criminal records and the need for the NY Clean Slate Act.
- May 7th, – Senate Standing Committees on Transportation and Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions. Subject: East Side Access/East Side Tunnel Project Oversight (MTA/Amtrak).
- May 7th, Assembly Standing Committees on Governmental Operations, Consumer Affairs and Protection, Banks, and Judiciary. Subject: Electronic and Remote Notarization in New York State.
- May 13th, Assembly Standing Committees on Environmental Conservation, Energy and Climate Change Work Group. Subject: Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) Implementation.
- May 20th, Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities. Subject: Evaluating the State’s response to COVID-19 at certain residential facilities.
The full legislative public hearing calendar can be accessed here.
From the Governor
State Will End Food and Beverage Curfew
The 12 a.m. curfew for outdoor dining areas will end beginning May 17 and for indoor areas beginning May 31. Catered events will be able to resume at residences beginning May 3 but in accordance with reopening guidance.
Governor Cuomo also announced that the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted beginning May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted May 31. (full announcement here).
Closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
The Governor announced that the Indian Point plant will close as planned today.
202.105: Aligns with CDC mask guidelines. NYS residents that completed a vaccination series do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
202.104: Expands the capacity of movie theaters.
200.103: Extends the State of Disaster Emergency as well as the Executive Orders through May 25, 2021.
From the NYS Attorney General
Probe into Toxic Substances in Baby Food
Attorney General Letitia James launched an investigation this week related to high levels of inorganic arsenic found in infant rice cereal products. In response to widespread concern regarding toxic metals found in baby food, the Attorney General requested information from the companies that make Gerber, Beech-Nut, Earth’s Best Organic (Hain), and HappyBABY (Nurture) brands, to examine whether the infant rice cereal products that are sold in New York contain arsenic at levels exceeding the legal maximum under the law.
From the NYS Comptroller
Analysis of 2021-2022 Budget Released
An analysis of the FY 2022 Enacted State Budget by NYS Comptroller DiNapoli shows that the budget is supported by a substantial influx of new resources, totaling an estimated $26.7 billion. Resources include federal support, better-than-expected tax collections, revenues from tax increases, and other new resources, resulting in the largest budget in state history at an estimated $212 billion.