PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER MAY 28TH
Next Week’s Calendar Legislative session is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
No Scheduled Committee Meetings
New June Public Hearing
From the Governor
Paid Family Leave to Cover Time Off for Vaccine Recovery
New Vaccine Incentive
Saratoga Race Course Opens June 15
Agency News AG: Joins Coalition Against Elder Abuse
Comptroller: Record Year for Pension Fund
OCFS & DOH:
Updated Mask Guidance for Childcare
Remembering our Heroes, Legislature in Wind Down Mode
As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend with remembrance and cook outs, the unofficial and traditional start of summer with the school year winding down and college graduations concluding, we also move into the final two weeks of the scheduled legislative session. As is typical for the end of session, nominations are now being sent to the legislature for confirmation for various vacancies on boards and other governmental entities, committees are closing down in at least one house, and active lists are heavy with local priorities. The session is scheduled to end on June 10.
Rental assistance program – On Wednesday, the Governor announced the availability of $2.7 billion in rental assistance with applications accepted beginning June 1; and an $800 million small business recovery grant program (applications accepted beginning June 10). The rental assistance program will be run through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Details and links are available in the announcement, linked above.
COVID Pandemic Updates:
~ New Vax Incentives –
- The Governor rolled out a new vaccination incentive this week, offering free passes to New York State parks over the Memorial Day Anyone vaccinated in the state between May 24 and May 31 is eligible to receive a free two-day pass to any New York State park.
- The Governor also announced a new incentive for 12 – 17 year olds who get a COVID vaccine, see our “From the Governor” section for
~ Excelsior passes – According to the Governor, the Excelsior Pass – a digital verification of vaccination or negative COVID test result – has passed the 1 million issued passes milestone.
~ Vaccination data/positivity updates – According to the state’s vaccine tracker website, as of mid-week almost 8.8 million adults (18+) had been fully vaccinated.
~ Child care mask guidance – The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) modified their guidance this week related to mask wearing requirements in child care settings. See our “State Agencies” section for details.
FY 2022 Financial Plan – The NYS Division of Budget released the FY 2022 Enacted Budget Financial Plan and related documents this week, all of which may be accessed here.
2021 Legislative Session Days
There are three scheduled session days next week Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can find the full 2021 Legislative Session calendar here.
The Legislature passed 227 bills this week while in session. This included the following measures:
- A3994 (Cusick) / S5761 (Breslin) Passed the Senate and This bill removes certain bonding requirements for independent insurance adjusters.
- A7501 (Stirpe) / S6679 (May) Passed the Assembly, and was sent to the Senate for consideration. This bill extends the deadline for an advisory panel report set to make recommendations on MWBE
- A1938 (Peoples-Stokes) / S4221 (Stavisky) Passed the Senate, and was sent to the Assembly for consideration. This bill allows non-CPAs to be minority owners of CPA firms.
- A7477 (Reyes) / S6768 (Gianaris) Passed the Senate, and was sent to the Assembly for This bill is a chapter amendment to the previously enacted legislation that relates to preventing occupational exposure to an airborne infectious disease.
From the Governor
Governor Announces Recovery Time from COVID-19 Vaccination Covered by Paid Family Leave
Governor Cuomo announced the New York State Department of Labor will be issuing guidance to all employers that any necessary recovery period from the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under the NYS Paid Family Leave Law.
Governor Announces New Vaccine Incentive
Governor Cuomo announced a new incentive which enters children (12 to 17 years old) who get vaccinated into a lottery system that will grant individuals a four-year full scholarship to SUNY or CUNY schools. There will be four winners per week for 10 weeks beginning May 27.
Governor Announces Saratoga Race Course to Open July 15
Governor Cuomo announced Saratoga Race Course will open July 15. In order to be able to operate closer to full capacity, the New York Racing Association will designate most sections for vaccinated fans only. There will be a small number of hospitality and seating areas for non- vaccinated fans.
Governor Cuomo released Executive Order 202.109 which extends the State Disaster Emergency and Executive Order 202 and each successive EO through June 24, 2021. The full Executive Order can be found here.
From the NYS Attorney General
Attorney General James Leads Coalition in Support of the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act
Attorney General James co-led a bipartisan coalition of 47 attorney generals in sending a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. The act — comprised of the Stop Senior Scam Act and Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2021 — will assist stakeholders in training employees to recognize the warning signs of elder fraud and to prevent irreversible damage to elderly victims.
From the NYS Comptroller
New York State Pension Fund has Largest Annual Return in History
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) estimated overall investment return was 33.55 percent for the state fiscal year (SFY) that ended March 31, 2021, reflecting the financial markets’ rebound from lows reached during the COVID-19 pandemic. The return on investments increased the Fund’s value to an estimated $254.8 billion.
From the Office of Children and Family Services and Department of Health
Updated Mask Guidance for Childcare
The NYS Office of Children and Family Services and Department of Health issued a joint statement announcing updated guidance that recommends but does not require 2- to 5-year-old children to wear a mask in childcare settings.