PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER MAY 21ST
Next Week’s Calendar Legislative session is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
No Senate or Assembly Committee Meetings
No new May public hearings
From the Governor
New guidance at Child Care, Day Camps, Overnight Camps
New high speed charging stations
New Guidance for County Fairs and Local Festivals
Agency News AG: Announces effort to undo HHS Trump Era Health Care Rule
Comptroller: Sales Tax Collections Up
NYSERDA: Carbon Challenge funding
NY Unmasked (well sort of), Vax-n-Scratch, Hemp regs
With three more weeks to the scheduled conclusion of the 2021 legislative session, it is usually a frenetic time in a state capitol packed with advocates, lobbyists, legislators, and staff. This year of course all are relegated to virtual meetings, working the phones, and sending out paper as the capitol remains closed to visitors. Next session may be different as the statewide COVID positivity rate continues to trend strongly downward with the 7- day average positivity rate dropping this week to its lowest since last September. As of May 20, 54 percent of all adult New Yorkers had been fully vaccinated (tracker here).
This week in Albany also saw the issuance of subpoenas in an investigation of the Governor, an unveiling of the amount the Governor garnered is his pandemic book deal, and the release of final regulations related to the processing and retail sale of cannabinoid hemp in New York State. And if you’re a baseball fan, Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber tossed a no-hitter Wednesday night, the team’s first since 1999.
COVID – The Governor announced this week that the state would be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, and issued new guidance for child care, day camp and overnight camp programs (see our “From the Governor” section for more details). The Governor’s press release related to mask guidelines can be found here and a full guidance summary here.
Vax & Scratch – The Governor announced the implementation of a new incentive program to encourage vaccine participation, providing free NYS lottery scratch off tickets to individuals 18 years of age or over who are vaccinated at one of 10 participating sites between May 24 and May 28.
AG Subpoenas; Book Deal – According to media reports, individuals that have accused the Governor of sexual harassment have been issued subpoenas by the Attorney General. Media reports are here and here. On another note, the Governor released his tax filings for public review on Monday, revealing that he is expected to receive more than $5 million through 2022 for a book deal with Crown Publishing on leadership during the pandemic. Media here, here, and here.
- Hemp Regs – The Department of Health published on their website final proposed regulations related to the processing and retail sale of cannabinoid hemp in New York State.
- County Leaders Briefed – County leaders across NY were reportedly briefed this week on the roll out of the new Cannabis Law. Media here.
- Webinar Reminder!! – Park Strategies LLC is sponsoring a business-oriented webinar on May 27th on the new Cannabis Law. Topics to include compliance, taxes, licensing, how the industry will be regulated, municipal considerations, quality control, and security. Speakers will be Kaelan Castetter, Director of Policy Analysis at Castetter Cannabis Group; Kate Hruby, Policy Analyst at Castetter; Jason Klimek, Cannabis Attorney and member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Cannabis Law; and Joe Rossi, Managing Director at Park Strategies, LLC.
2021 Legislative Session Days
There are three scheduled session days next week: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You can find the full 2021 Legislative Session calendar here.
The Legislature passed 101 bills this week while in session. This included the following measures:
- S694 (Kaplan) which relates to the requirements for annual reports for the division of minority and women’s owned businesses and development
- S5054 (Parker)/A7530 (Gallagher) which relates to creating the chemical dependence treatment bill of rights
At publication, no future public hearings had been announced. The full legislative public hearing calendar can be accessed here.
From the Governor
From the Governor
Governor Announces New Safety Measurers at Child Care, Day Camp, Overnight Camp
Governor Cuomo announced updated guidance related to childcare, day camp, and overnight camp programs, effective May 19. The updated guidance includes measures for COVID-19 protocols, physical distancing, and sanitation.
Governor Announces the First Charging Station at a Mirabito Location
Governor Cuomo announced the first of five planned high speed electric vehicle charging hubs at multiple Mirabito Convenience Store locations in Central New York.
Governor Announces Guidance for County Fairs and Local Festivals
State Department of Health approval will be required for events with over 5,000 expected attendees, consistent with the existing review process. County fairs and local festivals must ensure that the total number of attendees is limited so that six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals who are not members of the same party.
Governor Cuomo released Executive Order 202.108 which increased the capacity for various venues and provided some context on lifting the mask mandate. The full Executive
Order can be found here.
From the NYS Attorney General
Attorney General James Leads Coalition in Support of HHS Effort to Undo Trump Era Health Care Rule
Attorney General James co-led a coalition of 23 Attorney Generals in submitting a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), applauding the agency’s proposed rule to undo the Trump era Title X “gag rule.”
From the NYS Comptroller
April Local Sales Tax Collections Up Nearly 46 Percent From 2020
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced local government sales tax collections in April grew by 45.7 percent over the same month in 2020. Collections totaled $1.5 billion, up $464 million from April of last year.
From the Energy and Research Development Authority
NYSERDA Makes $15 Million Available for Third Annual Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) launched the third round of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge, making $15 million available as part of Round XI of the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The goal of the C&I Carbon Challenge is to reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial businesses and institutions, combat climate change, and drive economic growth across the state.