March 21 Special Legislative Update

Shenker Russo and Clark LLP Legislative Update

This morning the Governor held another press conference to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation. In his press conference, the Governor announced that the Army Corps of Engineers have recommended four initial sites for temporary hospitals – the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center. The Governor also announced new steps aimed at increasing the state’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Governor announced that they will be purchasing two million N95 masks, which they will deliver around the state. One million wilL be sent to New York City and 500,000 will be delivered to Long Island. Also, the state has started obtaining ventilators from around the state, along with purchasing an additional 6,000, all of which will be used in the most critical areas of the state.

The Governor also announced that he will be amending his Executive Order 202 to temporarily close the Department of Motor Vehicles for all in-office visits. Online transactions will still be available and license and permit expirations will be extended. Other announcements the Governor made this morning included that the state will receive 10,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax to begin new drug therapy trials, and asking New York’s Congressional delegation to amend the federal COVID-19 legislation to allow New York to receive $6 million in aid. Currently, the federal legislation includes a provision that would prevent states from receiving aid if they are making changes to their Medicaid systems. Under this provision, New York will not receive any aid, since the Governor established the Medicaid Redesign Team II (MRT II) in January to find around $2 billion in cuts to the state’s Medicaid system. This past week, MRT II delivered their recommendations to the Governor and Legislature, who will now review and negotiate them during State Budget talks.

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation around the state 24/7 and will continue to provide you with all updates of importance.

If you would like to read the Governor’s press release regarding his press conference this morning, follow this link:

Have a safe and healthy weekend!