This week in Albany

Shenker Russo and Clark LLP Legislative Update

New York State Re-Opening Plan/COVID-19 Update

On Monday, Governor Cuomo announced the State’s full re-opening plan, which will happen on a regional and phased basis. The Governor announced that before a region can begin to re-open, it must meet seven specific requirements. Once those requirements have been met, the State will allow the region to re-open businesses, which will happen in four phases. Those phases are:

  • Phase One: Construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chains, and select retail stores if they can provide curbside pickup.
  • Phase Two: Professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate and rental leasing
  • Phase Three: Restaurants/Food service and Hotels/accommodations
  • Phase Four: Arts/Entertainment/Recreation education

The re-opening plan requires a two-week monitoring period between phases so that the State can monitor how each Phase has affected each region’s COVID-19 numbers. The Governor also said that, when re-opening, each business will be required to implement various safety precautions to ensure their employees will be protected from COVID-19. The Governor’s full Press Release regarding re-opening requirements and safety precautions businesses will need to implement can be found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-outlines-additional-guidelines-when-regions-can

Lastly, the Governor announced yesterday that the State will be extending its moratorium of evictions until August 20th, an additional 60 days. Also, the Governor announced that the State will provide additional rent relief for New Yorkers during this time. Specifically, the State will be banning late payments or fees for missed payments and that renters will be allowed to use their security deposits as payment of their rent.

Joint Legislative Hearing on COVID-19

Yesterday, the Legislature announced the date and time of the first of two Legislative Hearings discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the State. The first hearing will take place next Wednesday, May 13th at 10 A.M. and will be held using mostly remote technology. This first meeting is being held “to discuss the current and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, including farms, across New York State and whether the federal response is sufficient in relation to the disproportionate impact on the State and effective in targeting the businesses most in need.” You can read the Legislature’s full Public Hearing announcement here: https://assembly.state.ny.us/write/upload/publichearing/20200506.pdf

Bill Reports

The Legislature introduced 68 bills this week and delivered none to the Governor’s office. The Governor acted on no bills this week. Despite announcing the date of the first Legislative Hearing on COVID-19, the Legislature still has not announced any plans to return for Session. We are continuing to monitor the Legislature’s actions and will inform you if we learn of any plans to continue the 2020 Legislative Session.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you 24/7.