August 21 Legislative Update

Shenker Russo and Clark LLP Legislative Update

This week in Albany…

New York State Re-opening Process
On Monday, the Governor announced guidelines gyms will need to follow when they begin re-opening. The guidelines state that gyms in all regions of the State can begin to re-open on Monday, August 24th, but that Chief Executives outside of New York City and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio may postpone the re-openings until a later date, but no later than Wednesday, September 2nd. Some of the other guidelines include:

  • Limiting capacity to 33%.
  • Requiring everyone to wear acceptable face coverings.
  • Requiring all visitors to sign in when entering the gym, providing their full name, address, and phone number for contact tracing purposes.
  • Each gym must complete and pass a health screen prior to re-opening.
  • Ensuring all individuals are, at least, 6 ft. apart at all times.
  • Gyms must modify the use, reorganize, and/or restrict the number of workout stations so that individuals are, at least, 6 ft. apart.
  • If spotting exercises occur, they must be conducted in the least amount of time possible.
  • All communal showers must be closed. Individual showers may remain open but must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Localities can determine whether gyms can hold indoor classes.

Also, during an interview this week on WAMC radio’s “The Roundtable,” the Governor said that movie theaters could be the next industry to re-open, saying “movie theaters, I think, are next. They’re congregate, they have a centralized ventilation system, people, by definition, are not moving around, you’re in close proximity to another person for a long period of time.” He added that, “if you are positive and you are breathing in and out and you’re sitting two seats from another person, it could be a real problem, but they are a situation that we have to attend to.”

Yesterday, the Governor signed Executive Order 202.57, which extended the State’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures until September 20th. “While we have made great progress in keeping New York’s infection rate low, this pandemic is not over and as we continue to fight the virus, we are continuing to protect New York businesses and residential tenants who face financial hardship due to COVID,” the Governor said in his announcement. “I am extending the State’s moratorium on commercial evictions to ensure business owners across New York will not be forced to close as a result of the pandemic.”

It was announced this week that two states, Alaska and Delaware, have been re-added to the State’s Travel Advisory. After falling off the list some weeks ago, both states have again met the metrics requiring them to be re-added to the Travel Advisory, which requires all non-essential individuals traveling to New York from the included states to quarantine for two weeks. The current list includes:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wisconsin

Bill Reports
The Legislature introduced 83 bills this week and delivered none to the Governor’s office. The Governor signed three bills this week, which will make it easier for all New Yorkers to vote in November. The first piece of legislation authorizes voters to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness, including COVID. The second bill authorizes all voters to request absentee ballots starting yesterday, and the last piece of legislation allows ballots to be postmarked on the day of the election, November 3rd.

If there is nothing attached to this email, it means there were no actions on any of your marked bills this week.

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Have a great day!