PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 26TH
Next Week’s Calendar
Session on Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week.
Committee Meetings, Nursing home bills pass, data excise tax introduced.
Updates from the Governor
Plug Power investment
technology upgrades in schools
Required coverage of fertility treatment
NYSAG moves to protect against
NYS Comptroller asks for data on
racial equity for companies held in
the NYS Retirement Fund
scams for licensed
Marching toward a Budget Deadline
As the April 1 deadline to enact a New York State Budget agreement makes an appearance on the horizon, the legislature and the Governor worked through a couple of milestones this week, moving closer to the next phase of the negotiating process. Typically, as we move into March, the focus shifts to budget negotiations. That being said, the vaccination of eligible New Yorkers continued this week with the FDA moving closer to approving another vaccine, a neighboring state legalized adult-use Cannabis, and the Governor faced renewed allegations of misconduct.
- Budget Revenue Forecasts released – One of the milestones toward the annual April 1 budget enactment deadline is the release of state Revenue Forecasts from each house of the legislature. The Senate and Assembly released their revenue forecasts on Tuesday, February 23. As in most years the houses’ estimates differ from each other, and from the Governor’s. The Senate’s FY 2022 estimate of all funds receipts is $1.9 billion higher than the Executive Budget Financial Plan, while the Assembly projection is $3.534
billion higher. A consensus on revenues between the two houses and the Governor must be met and released on March 1 (State Finance Law, Section 23). If an agreement is not made then the state Comptroller would be required to provide his estimates on or before March 5. The Senate forecast can be accessed here, and the Assembly here.
- As the budget process moves into March, the timeline becomes more active and condensed. One house bill introductions typically fall within the 2nd week of the month and around the same time the legislature and the Governor will settle on available funds above projected expenditures. The introduction of one house bills establishes the houses’ positions and will also signify the beginning of three-way negotiations and Joint Conference Committee meetings. Legislative Budget Hearings concluded with the February 25 health hearing. Under intense scrutiny by legislators, the state’s Health Commissioner maintained his stance regarding the impact COVID on the nursing home population. Submitted testimony and archived video for the health hearing and the rest of the legislative hearing can be accessed here.
- Legislative Budget Hearings concluded with the February 25 health hearing. Under intense scrutiny by legislators, the state’s Health Commissioner maintained his stance regarding the impact COVID on the nursing home population. Submitted testimony and archived video for the health hearing and the rest of the legislative hearing can be accessed here.
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine – The vaccine advisory committee to the FDA, the Vaccines and Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), is scheduled to meet today (Friday, February 26, 2021) to evaluate J&J’s single dose vaccine. If the Committee recommends emergency approval by the FDA, it is then reviewed by the CDC’s vaccine panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices (ACIP). The ACIP is scheduled to meet on Sunday.
New Jersey cannabis legalization – New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Monday to legalize adult use cannabis. The bill is here and Monday’s press release from the Governor is here.
2021 Legislative Session Days
There is session next week on Monday the 1st, Tuesday the 2nd
,Wednesday the 3rd, and Thursday the 4th. You can find the 2021 Legislative Session calendar here.
The Senate and Assembly have several committee meetings this week scheduled next week. The Senate will host 12 Committee Meetings (live stream available on the Senate website), with the Assembly expected to host its own slate of meetings as well (found here once announced).
Legislative Activity The legislature passed 50 bills this week focused on primarily on nursing homes, and storm response. On nursing homes: A.2037 (Dinowitz) Relates to the publication of nursing home ratings; S.614B (May) Provides for the authorization and regulation of visitation of compassionate care-giving visitors at nursing homes and residential health care facilities; S.1783 (Skoufis) Directs the department of health to establish and implement an infection inspection audit and checklist on
residential care facilities, nursing homes and long-term care facilities; S.4336A (Rivera) Relates to directing the commissioner of health to establish a direct patient care ratio reporting and rebate requirement for nursing homes. On storm response: S.1453A (Parker) Relates to extending a moratorium on utility termination of services after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or expires; S.4960 (Mayer) Relates to strengthening of utility storm response and compliance. Also of note, Senator Kruger introduced a bill (S.4959) that creates an excise tax on the collection of consumer data by commercial data collectors.
From NYS Governor Cuomo
Plug Power to Invest in Genesee County
Governor Cuomo announced that alternative energy technology provider Plug Power will invest $290 million in the construction of a green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced
Manufacturing Park, Genesee County.
Combating Housing Discrimination
Governor Cuomo announced the State is partnering with nonprofit organizations to deploy undercover testers across the state to identify discrimination in home rental and sale transactions. The program will be administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
School Technology Upgrades Governor Cuomo announced the approval of 78 Smart Schools InvestmentPlans ($59.9 million) aimed at improving school security and reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century.
Mandated Insurance Coverage of Infertility Services
Governor Cuomo announced that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance requiring New York health insurers to cover fertility services for all New Yorkers regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.95 which extended EO 202 and each subsequent Executive Order through March 24, 2021. Executive Order 202.95 also implemented new procedures for tracking staff COVID vaccinations in schools.
From the New York State Attorney General
Attorney General James Fights to Protect New Yorkers from Out-of-State Lawbreaker Seeking to Flood Streets with Dangerous Ghost Guns
New York Attorney General Letitia James has led a coalition of 21 attorneys general from around
the nation in fighting a lawsuit that seeks to stop states from enforcing their laws against a
company disseminating dangerous 3D-printed gun files on the internet. In an amicus brief
supporting the petitioner in the case Grewal v. Defense Distributed before the U.S. Supreme
Court, Attorney General James leads the coalition in seeking to protect states’ efforts to stop
Defense Distributed from unlawfully publishing easily-downloadable files on the internet that
provide the instructions to build dangerous 3D-printed firearms, including assault weapons. Untraceable firearms are sometimes called “ghost guns” because they lack a serial number or other identifying features.
From the New York State Comptroller
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that the New York State Common
Retirement Fund (Fund) has launched a multi-faceted initiative to hold publicly-traded corporations and their top executives accountable for their diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices.
DiNapoli said the Fund will file shareholder proposals seeking increased board diversity and
disclosure of workforce diversity, and will expand its votes against board members at companies
whose boards do not include underrepresented racial minorities, companies that fail to disclose
their workforce’s racial or ethnic diversity, and companies that refuse to embed diversity in their
search for new board directors.
From the New York State Education Department
State Education Department Warns of Phishing Scam Targeting Licensed Professionals
The New York State Education Department is warning licensed professionals in New York State
about a scam involving telephone calls from individuals posing as NYSED Employees or law
enforcement officials to defraud and extort victims. The scam is targeting such licensed
professionals as physicians and pharmacists, and is seeking the professional’s social security
number and an immediate bond payment under the guise that the professional’s license has been
suspended and payment is required to reverse the suspension and avoid further charges. The
New York State Education Department will never telephone or fax any individual to request a
bond fee or payments related to an ongoing investigation of professional misconduct.